The Best of Everything Best
Hotels & Resorts IDR 50,000, SG$ 8, HK$ 48 EDITION I, 2016
Edition 1, 2016
Edition 1, 2016
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When opportunity calls, answer emphatically. The Continental. The luxury of spontaneity. Engine 6.0-liter twin-turbocharged W12, Power 635ps/626bhp/467kw@6000rpm, Max Speed 206mph/331km/h, Acceleration KMH 0-100km/h 4.0 seconds. For more information please call Diky +62 818 699 268 Authorized Distributor : PT. Grandauto Dinamika
Jl. Sultan Iskandar Muda No. 41, Jakarta 12150, Indonesia T : +62 21 723 2255 F : +62 21 723 8830 E : email@example.com
Editorial Department (firstname.lastname@example.org) Editor in Chief Melani Semuel (email@example.com) Managing Editor Dennis Latif (firstname.lastname@example.org) Senior Editor Priscilla Picauly (email@example.com) Art Director Toni (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Photographer: Arino Mangan +62 821 453 85567 Venue InterContinental Jakarta MidPlaza @traveliciousgal
“We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure. There is no end to the adventures we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open.” - Jawaharlal Nehru One evening, my colleagues and I were discussing our idea of the perfect holiday, and interestingly enough, none of us had the same idea. When it comes to travel, we all obviously have our own likes and dislikes. The discussion made me think about how I travel, and I realised that it has changed over the years. When I started this magazine, my idea of the perfect trip revolved around fine dining, five-star spa treatments and simply savouring the luxury hotel where I was staying. Now I crave a bit of adventure and look forward to exploring the city and country I am in. I’ve also noticed that lately when I go on holiday, I prefer to go alone rather than travel with friends or family (except for my mom and dad). As we prepared this “The Best of Everything” edition, we realized that what’s best for you might not be best for me. Our managing editor Dennis came up with the idea of discovering the best accommodation, restaurants and activities based on your zodiac sign. We had a lot of fun preparing this edition. And after testing the results amongst ourselves, we now share with you “Bali Best of Everything” according to your zodiac sign. We also take a historic and cultural journey in Semarang and explore Solo’s many culinary offerings. Speaking of good food, don’t miss our reviews of must-visit restaurants around the country. I hope you enjoy reading this issue as much as we did preparing it for you.
Melani Semuel 12
Sales & Marketing Department Marketing Managers Clarisa Mutriafica (email@example.com) Marlina Agustin (firstname.lastname@example.org) Assistant Marketing Manager Rafidha Najib (email@example.com) Maxx Media is published every three semesters by PT. Maximillian (www.ptmaximillian.com)
President Director Raynaldo Semuel Managing Director Melani Semuel General Manager Arisudana Gunawan INDONESIA OFFICE Jl. Batu Jajar No. 35A Central Jakarta 10120 Indonesia Ph. +62 21 352 4526 Fax. +62 21 344 7203 www.maxx-m.com LEGAL CONSULTANT Boyke Semuel, SH Semuel & Associates Jl. Batu Jajar No. 35A Jakarta Pusat 10120 Ph. +62 21 352 4526 Maxx Media is distributed in major cities in Indonesia, Hong Kong and Singapore at retail price. Opinions expressed in this magazine are those of the authors and as such, the Publisher does not accept responsibility of the content thereof. No part for this publication may be reproduced without written permission of the publisher. All trademarks and rights to the name of Maxx – Media are reserved by Melani Semuel, SH.,LL.M, BusSys c 2006
Sitting on the southernmost cliff of Nusa Dua, Samabe Bali Suites & Villas is a luxury resort for a beach getaway. It Introduces a new concept of all inclusive called Unlimited Privilege serving every single thing needed for a summer holiday in the island. Here, you will be treated like royals.
Rates starting from USD 450 inclusive of welcome amenities & daily fresh fruit in room and pool area, breakfast when ever where ever you prefer, free-ďŹ&#x201A;ow of non alcoholic beverages & mini bar, afternoon tea & snack, daily yoga and other resort activities, cucumber eye cooling around the pool, ice cream service for children at poolside, wireless internet access , Samabe original welcome gift for each guest & 24-hour butler service, unlimited use of non-motorized water sports. Upgrade to Unlimited Privilege is availabe at USD 125/person/night. www.samabe.com Jl. Pura Barong-Barong Sawangan, Nusa Dua Selatan 80363, Bali - Indonesia Phone: +62 361 846 8633 | +62 361 846 8632
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CONTENTS 57 – 129
Discover hidden treasures around Bali for a perfect getaway according your zodiac, sign with hand-picked selections of the best destinations
34 – 37
38 – 55
Do’s and Don’ts Jakarta Hideaways
Let’s escape to remarkable Georgia, magnificent MontSaxonnex and exotic Fitzroy
130 – 137 FOOD REVIEW
We look at some of the best restaurants in town
18 – 32
NEWS & TRENDS What’s Happening Who’s New Fashion & Beauty Editor’s Pick
Exciting Family Holiday Experience luxurious accomodation, delicious delicacies and exciting water-sports activities at Mantra Sakala Resort & Beach Club. More special benefits for the whole family awaits you, this is the perfect choice to share an unforgettable family vacation.
To book call (62) 361 775 216 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
STAY SOCIAL Mantra Sakala Resort & Beach Club
Jl. Pratama 95, Tanjung Benoa (Nusa Dua Peninsula) Bali 80363 Indonesia T : (62) 361 775 216 F : (62) 361 775 168 E : email@example.com www.mantrasakala.com
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CONTENTS 156 – 158 CAPTURE
Enjoy stunning pictures presented by MAXX-M’s team and selected contributors
140 – 147
160 – 162
Get up close and personal with inspiring people from the hospitality industry, as they share their thoughts and experiences in exclusive interviews
Cover picture courtesy of Bulgari Resort Bali
CONTRIBUTORS Fabiola Lawalata Eight years ago she left Indonesia to follow her husband. Since then Fabiola has spent much time exploring more than 73 countries with her Indonesian passport. Fabiola has also contributed as a writer to two travel books, Menghirup Dunia and 3 Wanita Menjejak Dunia. Her current dream is to visit Greenland.
Angelique Hidayat Wybier An avid animal lover with 15 years in marketing communications in various international hotel chains, Angelique is now working as a part-time PR consultant while pursuing her love and passion for writing. She contributes to one of Indonesia’s national newspapers and also writes for various magazines, on top of her own blog.
Edition 1, 2016
news & trends What’s Happening
Ultimate Luxurious Lifestyle Minor International is pleased to announce the availability of The Residences at Four Seasons Chiang Mai, a collection of exquisite villa condominiums and private villas overlooking the tranquil rice fields of Chiang Mai. Owners of the Residences will enjoy the five-star luxury of the neighbouring Four Seasons resort, including unrivalled amenities, thoughtful services and authentic lifestyle experiences. The Residences at Four Seasons Chiang Mai are housed in three- and four-storey Lanna Thai-style villas. Contemporary styling combined with meticulous cultural detailing creates unparalleled luxury overlooking the lush Mae Rim Valley. The award-winning two-, three-, and four-bedroom Residences range in size from 350 to 530 square metres and feature effortless indoor-outdoor living, private decks and pavilions, and inspiring views of the tropical gardens and surrounding mountains. The Residences at Four Seasons Chiang Mai also include Private Residences with four bedrooms each. These sumptuous two-level villas feature private pools and Jacuzzis with beautifully landscaped grounds and outdoor pavilions, along with spacious kitchens, elegant living rooms and spectacular views of the valley.
Partnership With Flytographer Fairmont Hotels & Resorts knows that genuine connections aren’t made solely when the moment is perfectly planned but also during unexpected exchanges. With vacation photography being a top travel trend for 2015, the luxury hotel operator is making it easier than ever to ensure that life’s special travel moments, planned or not, are worth sharing. Guests can now hire a trusted and highly skilled photographer at over 35 participating Fairmont locations worldwide. Whether it’s to capture that special birthday celebration or surprise engagement or simply to document a nice day touring the city, moments will forever be memories after a personalized photo session with Fairmont. The service is being delivered through a new partnership with Flytographer, an innovative photography service offering customized, candid photo shoots for travellers in over 150 cities around the globe. Gone are the days of blurry family photos taken by fellow travellers and awkward selfies – at least for Fairmont guests who want to ensure their travel experience is as beautiful in photos as it is in reality.
Commune Hotels & Resorts Launches Six New Properties Alila, the contemporary luxury brand under Commune Hotels & Resorts, is set to expand its portfolio into Cambodia and China alongside a third property in Indonesia and a heritage property in India. Alila SCBD will be Alila’s third property in Jakarta and will serve as a vibrant and modern retreat for both young urbanities and business travellers. Alila Anji will be located in the heart of Zhejiang province, surrounded by the pristine beauty of bamboo groves and white-tea plantations. Alila Yangshuo, originally a sugar mill, will now become a historical yet contemporary design resort with a stunning infinity-edged pool that connects to the Li River. Alila Tianxi Lake will overlook a stunning lake and contemporary luxury golf course. In Jaipur - India, Alila Fort Bishangarh will launch in the fourth quarter next year following the restoration of the beautiful 230-year-old Rajasthan Fort. Alila Villas Koh Russey, Cambodia will launch by the end of the year, located amid the Koh Rong archipelago offering pristine bays, dramatic peninsulas, white-sand beaches and tropical forests.
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news & trends What’s Happening
Yin and Yang Spa Ritual The Ritz-Carlton Spa at The Ritz-Carlton Jakarta, Mega Kuningan offers The Yin and Yang® Spa Ritual, inspired by the Chinese philosophy, where two opposite energies give rise to each other. The human body should reach a perfect balance of yin and yang, with the yin nourishing, cooling, building and relaxing, and the yang energizing, warming and stimulating. The spa ritual is specially crafted by The Ritz-Carlton Spa and Pevonia Botanica. This combination of luxury spa service and the highest quality products ensures guests enjoy a wonderfully soothing, deeply relaxing spa ritual. For more information and to make a reservation, please call The RitzCarlton Spa at +6221 2551 8975.
Opening Sedona Hotel
Seafood Grill & Chill
Designed by the award-winning Singapore firm Forum Architects and one of the world’s most renowned hospitality design firms, Studio HBA, the new 29-storey Inya Wing of Sedona Hotel Yangon features an additional 431 well-appointed guest rooms and suites, along with a grand lobby with a high-end retail gallery connecting the new tower to the existing building. The interiors of the new wing feature traditional Burmese art and materials that are artfully infused with modern Asian influences. The traditional Burmese umbrella is a key motif that runs throughout the new wing, starting with the magnificent lighting centrepiece in the main lobby and the fritted glass ceiling.
Four Points by Sheraton Bali, Kuta is pleased to launch the newest and latest hot-off-the-grill package to relish the taste of the ocean at The Best Brew. In response to the overwhelming demand for seafood as part of Four Points by Sheraton Bali, Kuta’s renowned F&B programme Grill & Chill, Executive Chef Paul Maurici is now specially cooking Seafood Grill & Chill every Wednesday and Friday, from 6 - 11pm, for only Rp 145,000 nett/portion.
Sitting majestically on eight acres of beautifully landscaped gardens, Sedona Hotel Yangon is a 20-minute drive from the international airport and the bustling city centre. Within close proximity to the famous Shwedagon Pagoda and Inya Lake, this deluxe five-star hotel in Yangon impresses with its local ethnic decor and architecture. The existing hotel wing features 366 newly upgraded guest rooms and suites along with several dining options, executive club rooms and a fitness centre with a swimming pool, sauna and steam bath.
The Seafood Grill & Chill programme highlights sustainable catches. Guests choose a selection of three of their favourite seafood dishes, including fresh crab, tiger prawns, squid, snapper, green sea clam and mahimahi, to name just a few. Guests can then choose their favourite sauces, with options ranging from Balineseinspired sauces to pan-Asian favourites. All the seafood is cooked to guests’ requests – pan sautéed, wood-fired grilled or delicately fried. All portions come with limitless side dishes and homemade sauces. For more information and updates, log on to fourpointsbalikuta.com.
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news & trends What’s Happening
Opening of Taipei Marriott Hotel Marriott International, Inc. is pleased to announce its debut in Taiwan with the opening of the Taipei Marriott Hotel. Combining Marriott Hotel’s design and innovation with local Taiwanese warmth and hospitality, the Taipei Marriott Hotel is the first five-star international hotel in the dynamic Dazhi area of Taipei, the capital’s new commercial hub. The largest integrated destination complex in Taiwan, the Taipei Marriott offers 320 luxury hotel rooms, a modern convention centre, a high-end shopping mall and luxury apartments. Perfect for business and leisure travellers, the Taipei Marriott Hotel offers spacious and thoughtfully appointed guest rooms and suites that range in size from 430 to 860 square feet, as well as the lavish 2,370-squarefoot Presidential Suite. The contemporary design includes a soothing neutral colour palette of ivory, cream and grey, accentuated by gorgeous and unobstructed views of Taipei through floor-to-ceiling windows. The window-side plush chaise in each room invites guest to relax, while the bath experience offers an added touch of luxury.
Experience The Leaf The Leaf Jimbaran, Bali’s luxury villa retreat, is set to open as the area’s first luxury healthy lifestyle villa, promising an unparalleled wellness experience and personal care. A Balinese purification ceremony was held last October, while an intimate launch event was hosted by The Leaf Jimbaran’s Chef Consultant, Daniel Green, a healthy-eating expert and an internationally renowned television personality, celebrity chef and award-winning culinary author. The Leaf Jimbaran offers a myriad of healthy lifestyle options, including personal trainers, nourishing food, specialised pillows, in-villa fitness equipment and rejuvenation activities to improve guests’ overall wellbeing. The Leaf Jimbaran, set in the midst of a typical Bali resort, was designed as an open space in harmony with the surrounding nature.
UNIQUE Rooftop Bar and Restaurant UNIQUE is a five-star destination located on Jimbaran’s sunset coast, where a refreshing sea breeze accompanies elevated treetop views overlooking an expansive forest and out to the ocean beyond. UNIQUE’s contemporary design is based around a welcoming central bar and 25-metre infinity-edge pool that faces one of Bali’s most captivating sunsets. Multilevel seating provides panoramic 360-degree views from any location. Signature dishes include Tortilla Soup, Homemade Tacos, Chicken Enchiladas, Burritos, Fajitas, Beef Nachos, Churros and many more. All of UNIQUE’s flavourful specialties may be paired with a fresh fruit margarita, top-shelf tequila, ice-cold beer or signature cocktail, artisan-crafted by UNIQUE’s creative team of mixologists.
news & trends What’s Happening
Best Spa Operator Banyan Tree Spa has been inducted into the coveted Travel Hall of Fame after clinching the Best Spa Operator title for 10 consecutive years at the annual Travel Trade Gazette (TTG) Travel Awards. Reputed as the most influential awards in the region, the annual TTG Travel Awards celebrate the finest luminaries of the travel industry and serve as a benchmark for the highest industry standards. Winners of the TTG Travel Awards are determined by 150,000 votes from professionals of the travel trade and readers of TTG print and online titles across the Asia-Pacific, including TTG Asia, TTG China, TTG India, TTGmice, TTG-BTmice China and TTG Asia Luxury, to bestow the titles of the industry's best. The TTG Travel Hall of Fame was inaugurated in 2002, with the objective of establishing a permanent home in honour of the region’s most exceptional organisations. Inductees into this elite group are conferred the title of Travel Hall of Fame honorary for the impressive record of winning the same prestigious award for 10 consecutive years.
Anantara Seminyak Rebranding Anantara Seminyak Resort & Spa Bali, one of the leading luxury resorts under the international hotel brand Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas, has been renamed Anantara Seminyak Bali Resort. This name change marks the ongoing efforts of the management to take the guest experience to a whole new level. The vastly upgraded facilities of this international brand include overhauled suites and penthouse, re-landscaped lobby, a new premium steakhouse with delicious views of the Indian Ocean, and a pizza bar with comfortable beanbags set on the sand. The brand-new Anantara Seminyak rooftop MoonLite Kitchen & Bar offers a rooftop deck with captivating coastal views, seductive cocktails and contemporary Asian cuisine.
Opening of Sea Grain Restaurant & Bar DoubleTree by Hilton Jakarta has announced the opening of Sea Grain Restaurant & Bar, the city's newest dining destination. Featuring Mediterranean cuisine with a local twist, this industrial and rustic, modern, casual restaurant and bar uses the freshest ingredients to create tempting offerings on its dinner menu. Located on the 3rd floor, the restaurant and bar’s design is best described as relaxed with a rich mix of colours and fabrics which reflect the lavish ambience of the area. Boasting an impressive interior design, Sea Grain features indoor and outdoor spaces, includes three private dining rooms. Sea Grain puts a local twist on the stunning dishes on the menu. Available for dinners and after-hours drinks, Sea Grain provides the perfect setting for every crowd. Enjoy dining on a sumptuous meal, savour a glass of wine from the extensive menu or simply unwind on a comfy sofa and feel the evening breeze in the semi-outdoor spaces.
STAY & SAVOUR RIGHT IN THE HEART OF SEMINYAK Let us treat you to the ultimate island escape in Seminyak’s urban oasis. When you book a minimum of 3 nights with us, enjoy special benefits for your stay starting from complimentary breakfast and dinner, instant upgrade to next room category, and cocktails at our Pool Bar. For a minimum of 5 nights stay, enjoy an additional spa treatment on the house!
From IDR1.870.000++ /night For more information and reservation, visit courtyardseminyak.com and use the Offer Code 2AP or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org Courtyard by Marriott® Bali Seminyak Jalan Camplung Tanduk No. 103 SP, Dhyana Pura T 0361.8499.600 F 0361.8499.200 courtyardseminyak.com
Promotion is valid for bookings between 15 October 2015 – 31 March 2016 and stays from 1 November 2015 – 31 March 2016. Black-out dates will apply. Offer is non-transferrable and registered guest must stay in person. Offer cannot be combined with other promotions or discount. Offer does not apply to groups of 10 or more rooms. Edition 1,
news & trends Who’s New
Terence T. Lee
The Westin Resort Nusa Dua, Bali’s Executive Chef
Anantara Seminyak Bali Resort’s General Manager
Hotel Borobudur Jakarta’s Executive Chef
The Westin Resort Nusa Dua, Bali is delighted to welcome Executive Chef Manoj Rawat to lead its culinary team. He comes direct from Novotel Perth Langley in Western Australia, where he was responsible for Food & Beverage services at several respected dining outlets. Born and bred in India, Chef Manoj has been passionate about cooking since a very early age. He embarked on a three-year diploma in hotel management and then accepted his first job in the hospitality industry as a teenager with Grand Hyatt New Delhi. As an operations trainee, he was exposed to all the inner workings of the Food & Beverage department. He enjoyed the challenge of a preopening stint for The Westin Sohna Resort & Spa in Gurgaon, where he was instrumental in setting up two opening kitchens. Upon relocating to Australia for a role at Sheraton on the Park in Sydney, Chef Manoj took charge of Botanica Brasserie. This popular eatery invariably served up to 1,000 meals a day and won the prestigious AHA National Award for excellence in 2010 under Chef Manoj’s leadership. Chef Manoj has now arrived on the island of Bali to assume responsibility for several Food & Beverage dining venues at The Westin Resort Nusa Dua, Bali.
Anantara Seminyak Bali Resort announces the appointment of Terence T. Lee as General Manager to spearhead the resort’s strategic development plans, as of 25 November 2015. A seasoned manager with the Minor Hotel Group, prior to this new role Terence was the Executive Assistant Manager at Anantara Seminyak Bali Resort, and he brings with him a wealth of experience. A rising star in hospitality management, Indonesian-born Terence began his career in Food & Beverage and honed his skills at some of Indonesia’s leading hotels. In 2003, he enjoyed his first General Manager role with Sanghyang Indah Spa Resort, and has since worked as a General Manager with Grand Angkasa International Hotel, Hotel Aryaduta Manado and most recently Menara Peninsula Hotel in Jakarta. He is also on the Board of Advisors for the Indonesia Tourism Travel Awards and the Bali Tourism Awards, known as the Oscars of the tourism industry.
Hotel Borobudur Jakarta announces the hiring of a new Executive Chef, Patrick Maurin. Chef Patrick, a native of France, brings more than 25 year of top-notch culinary experience to his new post. Having worked in such positions as Executive Chef, Corporate Executive Chef and Consultant, he understands what it takes to keep a restaurant running smoothly and to provide unbeatable customer service. Chef Patrick will oversee all culinary aspects of the property’s various outlets, which include Bogor Café, Miyama, Teratai, Bruschetta, Pendopo Lounge, in-room dining and catering service to two branches of Sop Buntut Bogor Cafe at Pacific Place and Pondok Indah Mall. Chef Patrick will bring new culinary ideas by incorporating European and South American influences and local ingredients in the food and beverage concept. He’s happy that his skills will be put to use in such fine-dining establishments, and he’s excited about the opportunity to meet the customers and help make their dining experience truly enjoyable.
news & trends Whoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s New
Edition 1, 2016
news & trends Who’s New
InterContinental Bali Resort’s Area Director of Sales and Marketing
The Westin Resort Nusa Dua, Bali’s Executive Pastry Chef
La Maison 1888’s Chef
InterContinental Bali Resort is delighted to announce the recent appointment of Ms. Kamal Haer as the new Area Director of Sales and Marketing. She will be responsible for leading and further improving all aspects of the sales and marketing communications team at Bali’s IHG Resorts. Kamal has lived and worked in Australia, New Zealand and Fiji and holds a Master of Business in Marketing from RMIT University in Melbourne. She comes to Bali direct from Fiji, where she fulfilled the role of Area Director of Sales and Marketing, South Pacific for IHG Resorts: InterContinental Fiji Golf Resort and Spa, Holiday Inn Suva, and Holiday Inn Vanuatu. Prior to that, she held the position of Head of Marketing, Retail Sales and Distribution, Fiji and Pacific, at ANZ Bank, overseeing 11 Pacific countries. Kamal also has extensive experience in sales, marketing, revenue management and strategy development within the airline, telecommunications and financial services industries. Kamal possesses great leadership skills, a passion for excellence and a talent for developing high-performing teams that drive excellent business results.
The Westin Resort Nusa Dua, Bali takes great pleasure in welcoming Chef Wijdan Purnama to take charge as the new Executive Pastry Chef. Passionately creative and inspired to innovate, Chef Wijdan studied at Akademi Tata Boga Bandung and continued to develop his skills with an associate’s degree in Chocolate Sculpture with Stephane Treand MOF and World Champion. There he learned the beauty of creating art with chocolate. He also joined Ewald Notter, the World Champion Patisserie 2001 in Lyon, France to enhance his creativity by creating sugar art in unique and beautiful shapes. He won awards from the Indonesia Hotels & Restaurant Association (PHRI) and Bandung Chef Association (BCA) for the best pastry creation. On his appointment, Chef Wijdan will be taking care of the pastry and bakery section for all dining venues at the resort, including Seasonal Tastes, Velada Tapas Bar & Kitchen, Prego Italian restaurant, Ikan Restaurant & Bar, Kites Bar & Lounge and By the Water, as well as taking care of catering for the Bali International Convention Centre.
Michelin-starred chef Pierre Gagnaire has been appointed to lead La Maison 1888, the number one gastronomic destination in Vietnam. Located on the grounds of one of the world’s most celebrated and striking international resort destinations, InterContinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort, La Maison 1888 captures the essence of haute French dining. The restaurant was the first in Vietnam to feature a Michelinstarred chef and follows that tradition with the appointment of Chef Gagnaire. La Maison 1888 has been featured in Architectural Digest’s Top Ten list of most beautifully designed new restaurants with a sumptuous design that recreates an antique French mansion, with each dining area its own intimate, reflective period room. La Maison 1888’s setting conveys the fictitious story of a colonial French-Eurasian family through the mediums of architecture and interior design. Private dining rooms invoke the personalities of the family; from the sensible Accountant’s Room to the adventurous Traveller’s Room and the more risqué Le Boudoir de Madame.
news & trends Fashion & Beauty
Sweet Trinity One, two, three... bracelets, necklaces, pendants and stud earrings, tiny skin jewels to start the season in Trinity. A subtle, delicate gift for mother or child alike, or a treat for oneself! Love, friendship, fidelity, trinity. The tender, delicate and refined version of the three bands, the Sweet Trinity collection curls up gracefully against the skin in a flurry of sweetness and light. Pink gold, white gold and yellow gold flow together, tied with a filiform chain. A soupcon of jewellery, this miniature version of the Three Bands clings to every movement, adds tenderness to every gesture and injects femininity into every day.
Vertu Launches New Signature Touch New Signature Touch is the latest high-performance smartphone from Vertu, the English manufacturer of luxury mobile phones. New Signature Touch balances high-performance technology, dedicated services and peerless build quality and materials, and boasts Vertu’s most vibrant display ever. This clarity of image is complemented by the extraordinary sound experience featuring Dolby® Digital Plus virtual surround sound. Encased in handcrafted fine leather and grade-five titanium, it is Vertu’s highest-ever technical performance smartphone. Android 5.1 Lollipop promises improved speed and clarity and Vertu’s full portfolio of services, which comprise Dedicated Concierge as well as Vertu LIFE and Vertu CERTAINTY packages, ensuring a seamless user experience. New Signature Touch has a cleaner, crisper look with very little interfering with its geometric design. Still recalling iconic Vertu elements, details are distilled and pared down to their simplest form. On the back plate, dramatic gull-wing doors open to house the nanoSIM and microSD cards. Inside there is space for personal engraving. New Signature Touch balances iconic, heritage design elements with a modern, clean look. The pillow has a confident form and is made from one large piece of ceramic for a cleaner aesthetic. The stereo sound bar has also evolved with a separate, floating polished V rail.
Bad Hair No More Say farewell to bad hair with no-snag hair ties from Minnie & Lola. Fashionably chic and kind to your hair, you can wear these in your hair or on your wrist as cute, funky, colourful bracelets. Wear one, two or a stack; the choice is yours. These are high-quality hair ties that you can use again and again; when they get dirty, just use a gentle soap or cleanser and hand-wash them. These no-snag hair ties come in a set of five, and all of the sets are limited edition, so when they’re gone, they’re gone. Be sure to get them while they’re still available. Minnie & Lola takes pride in the quality and workmanship of their products. These no-snag hair ties use high-quality materials imported from the United States; no flimsy, cheap elastic. Try these once and you’ll be hooked. Check out www. minnieandlola.wix.com/shop to order your hair ties or email Minnie & Lola at email@example.com.
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news & trends Editor’s Pick
Reliable Travel Companion Travel has become common in today’s world. Technology means time and distance are no longer a barrier to exploring the world. All you need now to hit the road is a reliable travel companion. Text by Dennis Latif | Photos courtesy of RIMOWA
o truly enjoy a business trip or holiday, the right travel companion is a must. And by travel companion we mean luggage. Having the right bags is a matter of convenience, design and function. MAXX-M looks at the latest RIMOWA suitcases for all your travel needs, as the brand once again lives up to its reputation for quality and looks. RIMOWA Bossa Nova Prepare for an adventurous year to come as you jet off for exotic destinations with the RIMOWA Bossa Nova case by your side. The RIMOWA Bossa Nova collection blends impeccable craftsmanship, fine aesthetics and top-level functionality, making you a proud traveller with the agility and flexibility to handle whatever the world throws at you.
RIMOWA Salsa Air Mini What could be better than showering your children with happy moments on an exciting trip? Created to be compact and vibrant with enough space for the little ones to pack their favourite toys, RIMOWA Salsa Air Mini Multiwheel® will be part of the sweet memories for your kids, whether you are weekending in a nearby hot spot or voyaging to some exotic destination.
RIMOWA Classic Flight Case Life is full of surprises. As you bound around the world in the new year, the RIMOWA Classic Flight Case, an elegant and timeless retro collection handcrafted from aluminium, will no doubt be your perfect travel companion. So go ahead and discover all the remarkable treasures that life has prepared for you.
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Paradise on Jakartaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Doorstep Tiger Islands Village & Eco Resorts, famously known as Pulau Macan, is part of Kepulauan Seribu (Thousand Islands), off the northern coast of Java. It is about a two-hour ride by speedboat from Ancol Marina to reach this island paradise. Text and Photos by Priscilla Picauly
Welcome Aboard Every morning at eight, from Port 17 at Ancol Marina, a speedboat takes guests to Pulau Macan. In beautiful weather, you can enjoy the sunshine and fresh breeze on the Java Sea. Begin your getaway by stopping by Macan Gundul Island, a small island north of Tiger Island. The easiest way to get to Macan Gundul is by walking (yes, walking). It is safe and recommended; just follow the sandy white path and be careful of sea urchins, sharp coral and small stingrays. If you're not sure, you can ask a staff member to assist you. The other ways to get to Macan Gundul are rowboat and kayak, which are also fun. After lunch, I relax on the sundeck, the beautiful turquoise water and fresh air my only companions, waiting for the snorkelling session to begin. The resort offers regular onehour snorkelling tours, taking guests to Bintang Island or Melintang Kecil Island. It is a magical underwater world, with brain, table, blade and branching coral, and schools of fish every way I look. But I am distracted by some stingrays in the area; it is stingray season, so care is required. Even so, this is one of the most beautiful dive spots in the Thousands Islands. If you miss the snorkelling tour, you still have a chance to explore the sea near the pier further to the north and the coral fringe around Macan Gundul Island.
The Resort Accommodation on the island is divided between huts and rooms. Every hut features an open-air area with private deck leading into the water. The Driftwood and Coral eco-huts provide a unique experience for guests, while the Sunset Hut provides a perfect location to enjoy the sunset in the privacy of your own hut. The newest hut, Zen Hut, also provides a stunning view of the sunset. All huts feature cosy rooms with driftwood interior or a bamboo theme. One of the highlights of the resort is the warm ambience that encourages guests to become friends. At dinner, we sit down at the same table and get to know each other while enjoying the excellent buffet. It is an intimate atmosphere, with the resort able to accommodate no more than 45 persons per night, creating a perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of Jakarta. It makes it easy to connect with fellow guests.
As an eco-resort, Pulau Macan Village & Eco Resort not only provides hospitality at its finest, but also invites guests to become more concerned about the environment and live in harmony with nature. This is reflected in its green initiatives, saving water by taking quick showers and saving energy by turning off unused lamps. The resort also invites guests to participate in donating to in-house conservation initiatives such as recycling plastic waste, coral planting and organic gardening on neighbouring islands. Pulau Macan Village & Eco Resort Pulau Macan, Kepulauan Seribu Jakarta - Indonesia Phone. +62 812 9164 2914 www.pulaumacan.com
Edition 1, 2016
travelling Do’s & Don’ts
Do’s and Don’ts When Travelling Abroad Travelling can be brutal. It forces you to trust strangers and to leave behind the familiarity and comfort of home and friends. But somehow it makes you a better person. If you are getting ready to hit the road, these tips might help. Text by Priscilla Picauly | Photo courtesy of Tim Hannigan
travelling Do’s & Don’ts
Do’s • First and foremost learn as much as possible about the country you plan to visit, including its history, religion, weather, geography and government. • Travel in small groups, three to five people, with the same interests and purposes. • Bring along a travel guide when exploring new places, especially when using public transportation. • Download apps to your smartphone so you will have maps, bus and train routes, restaurant information and more at your fingertips. • Make a photocopy of your passport and write down your credit card numbers and keep them separate from your passport and credit cards, and also give a copy to your family. • Bring two passport-size photos and a photocopy of your birth certificate and/or baptismal certificate, just in case you lose your passport • Only take the credit card(s) you need. • Make a photocopy of your flight tickets and keep them separate.
• Bring your prescription drugs with you in their original containers – don’t pack them in your check-in luggage. Also, bring additional contacts/glasses or your corrective lens prescription with you. • Notify a foreign contact of any medical issues including food allergies. • Carry some identification – a tag, bracelet or card – if you have a medical condition that might require emergency care. • Mark all your bags inside and out with your name and address – both home address and your foreign address. • Understand completely what your health insurance covers and does not cover while you are travelling. • Ask permission before photographing strangers whom you find “interesting”. • Learn to speak the local language for regular conversation, so you can say hello, thank you, sorry, ask for directions, ask the price, and say common sentences.
Don’ts • Do not look like a tourist or dress like one. • Do not draw attention to yourself when you are returning to your residence late at night. • Do not pack your essential documents or medicines in checked baggage – luggage gets lost. • Never carry large amounts of cash. • Do not bring expensive jewellery with you. • Most places are safe in most countries, but don’t wander down dark alleys or into areas that are known to be high risk.
• Women are sometimes targets of harassment – don’t become a target. Perhaps you can travel with some men or dress conservatively. • Don’t visit dangerous locations or walk in unfamiliar and isolated areas, especially at night. • Alcohol is generally forbidden in Muslim countries. Dogs and pigs are considered to be unclean animals in Islamic countries. • Avoid taboo subjects, like mentioning Tibet while you’re in China.
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Tropical Paradise People are no doubt familiar with Brisbane, the Gold Coast and the Great Barrier Reef. These are some of the most popular attractions in Queensland and favourite destinations along the east coast of Australia. Perhaps less well known is Fitzroy Island, a must-visit tropical island that is just an hour by boat from Cairns. Text by Priscilla Picauly | Photos courtesy of Fitzroy Island Resort
Long Ago Cairns is a port city and a destination for water activities such as sailing, snorkelling and diving. And if you have the time, spend a day or two on Fitzroy Island. With its tropical ambience, this island promises a truly unique getaway. Fitzroy Island is a continental island that was connected to the mainland over 10,000 years ago. It originated as part of the coastal Malbon Thompson mountain range, which includes Bellenden Ker, Mount Bartle Frere and Walsh’s Pyramid. When the Ice Age ended approximately 8,000 years ago the rising waters from the melting ice caps flooded the valley between Fitzroy and the other mountain peaks, leaving it an isolated island. Fitzroy Island is actually the top of a submerged mountain. Most of the island’s water comes from a natural freshwater spring originating in the tablelands near Mareeb and surfacing in the national park bush behind the main complex. For thousands of years, the Aboriginal people on Fitzroy Island, the Gunganji, gathered food and
used the area as fishing and hunting grounds. They believed the island was spiritually significant and that a person named Gulnyjarubay named the island Gabara, which means “the fist.” This symbolized that the lower portion of the island/ mountain had been submerged and all that remained above water was “the fist.” In 1770, James Cook named the island Fitzroy, after the family name of the Duke of Grafton, who was Prime Minister of England at the time Cook’s ship, the Endeavour, sailed. From the early 1800s Fitzroy Island was irregularly visited by pearling and surveying vessels until, in the late 1800s, a beche-de-mer (sea cucumber) industry began to operate from the island. Sea cucumbers were collected and prepared for the Asian food market. In 1876 Fitzroy Island become a quarantine station for Chinese labourers en route to the Palmer River Goldfields. Conditions were poor and starvation, sickness and death were common.
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In the early 1900s Fitzroy Island became part of the Anglican Aboriginal mission established at Yarrabah and was used to grow bananas, pawpaw, potatoes and cassava. Memories of family separations, attempted runaways, farming the island’s vegetable gardens and attending the coral church are kept alive by the old people of Yarrabah today. Menmuny Museum at Yarrabah contains displays about the island’s mission days. Over the years several ships were wrecked on the reefs near Fitzroy Island. The first navigation light, a carbide gaslight, was placed on Little Fitzroy Island in 1923. In 1943, a lighthouse was built on Fitzroy Island providing an important navigational service especially for wartime shipping. The remains of this lighthouse can be seen on the Summit walking track. The lighthouse on the main island today was built in 1970 and stands on what was once the site of a radar station, established in 1942. The cottages (circa 1960) were home to the lighthouse keepers until the light was changed to an automatic system in 1991.The lighthouse on the main island is no longer in use and the lighthouse cottages are part of the national park. The Number 28 Radar Station, along with coastal artillery gun
emplacements on Cape Grafton, served to protect Grafton Passage. Both were disbanded and removed at the end of the World War II. Today’s automated lighthouse is located on Little Fitzroy Island.
Stay and Relax Fitzroy Island Resort is perfectly located between rainforest and beach, giving guests the best of both worlds during their stay. Open since 2000, the resort offers 99 rooms, including studios, oneand two-bedroom apartments and beach cabins. Constructed and designed with the highest standards, the resort offers affordably priced luxury accommodation. Resort Studio Rooms provide views of the rainforest. With 32 square metres, the room features a king- or queen-size bed or two singles, air-conditioning and ceiling fan, plasma TV, ensuite black marble tiled bathroom, tea and coffee facilities and bar fridge. One-Bedroom Ocean Suites pamper guests with a spacious lounge area and large master bedroom, with a private balcony parallel to the beachfront. The Two-Bedroom Ocean Suites can cater up to six guests, ideal for groups of family or friends.
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As the only resort on the island, Fitzroy Island Resort offers exclusive rooms and services, with excellent facilities including restaurant, a large swimming pool and spa, swim-up pool bar, conference rooms, indoor and outdoor function space, cinema, game room and a kids’ playroom.
Never-Ending Water Activities As a beach lover, I couldn’t wait to explore Fitzroy. This tropical island teems with fun water activities for visitors of all ages. Start your day at Nudey Beach, which can be accessed by heading along the trail at the southern end of the resort. Nudey Beach and Welcome Bay are perfect for swimming and snorkelling, letting you explore the beautiful colours of the fringing reef and the marine life, which includes clown fish and sea turtles.
Hit the Adventure Centre for more ocean adventures, including riding single or double kayaks with glass portals. This PADI-accredited dive centre offers introductory scuba diving in a training pool or from safe beach access (35 metres from the shop). A certified professional diver will accompany you as you explore the beauty of Fitzroy’s underwater kingdom. Glass Bottom Boat Tours are also available at the resort. This service operates twice a day (at 10am and 1.30pm) and is ideal for non-swimmers, including families with young children. Night tours are also available on request. Fitzroy Island is part of a national park and fishing in the area is strictly regulated and subject to zoning and boundary conditions to protect the World Heritage Site. The island also has safe anchorage facilities for private boats, including providing eight A class public moorings. In order
to protect the marine park, it’s important to only anchor on sand and avoid shallow beach access to the island. For those planning to visit the island by private boat, please visit the Fitzroy Island Government Parks website for more information.
Info box How to Get There? •
It’s easy to reach by Cairns, which is located in North Queensland.
You can get to Cairns from anywhere in Australia by air, with domestic flights to Cairns from all over the country.
From Cairns, take a ferry or private boat to Fitzroy. It takes about 35 minutes to reach the island.
Ferry services depart from Cairns Reef Fleet Terminal every day at 9.30am, with return transfer from Fitzroy Island at 4.30pm.
Save the Turtle! I had a chance to visit the Turtle Rehabilitation Centre while staying at the resort. This sea turtle rehab centre is a non-profit organization that operates by donations. One of the most common problems is floaters syndrome, an obstruction that occurs in the turtle’s gut causing air to become trapped between the shell and the body, impacting the turtle’s ability to dive down to the seagrass beds to eat. For visitors, there are daily tours that let people learn about the history of the organisation, including the rescue process. Tours are limited to 15 guests, so you have to pre-book.
Need to Know! Most of Fitzroy is part of a National Island Park. The island also includes mangroves, open woodland, tropical pristine rainforest and coral beaches. Absolutely spend some time exploring the island by the walking trails, bird-watching, snorkelling and exploring the beaches.
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The Balcony of Europe If the balcony is the most beautiful part of an apartment building, well, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the same thing as the country of Georgia. This is, after all, the famed balcony of Europe. Text and Photos by Fabiola Lawalata
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Tbilisi â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Heart of Georgia Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia, is the heartbeat of the Caucasus. The city is making an effort to catch up after being left behind during the days When it was still part of the Soviet Union. There are upscale hotels, restaurants and nightlife in the centre of the city. I arrived in the capital at 5am on Sunday and noticed that the streets were filled with young people just getting home after a night of partying. The ancient fourth-century fortress of Narikala overlooks Tbilisi and that is where I was headed on Sunday morning. On the way I stopped at Saint Nicholas Church, which was originally built
in the 13th century but was rebuilt in the 1990s after being destroyed in a fire. The sound of the ringing church bell signalled that the service was about to begin. I enjoyed attending Saint Nicholas Church that very beautiful Sunday, not to mention the gorgeous sights from the fort of the city of Tbilisi. The warm weather, gentle breezes and red poppies gently waving in the bright sunlight completed the postcard-perfect scene on my first day in Georgia. The mix of the old and new can really be sensed in Tbilisi. The majestic Bridge of Peace spans the Kura River and serves to connect the old town of Tbilisi with the modern city.
Nature and Churches It doesn’t matter where you go, Georgia’s natural beauty will leave you speechless. It is hard to believe that, with how magical this country is, there are so few tourists. Keep in mind that while in Georgia, one should enjoy the beautiful spectacle of the mountains. The country is home to the Caucasus mountains, making this one of the most wonderful places I have ever visited. In other words, it is immense and beyond words. The Orthodox churches in Georgia have a lot of mystique and tradition. Georgia is one of the oldest Christian countries in the world and is home to lots of old-style churches that trace the history of Christianity in the country. For me, Gergeti Trinity Church is the most spectacular of Georgia’s churches. It is located in Gergeti village, at an elevation of 2,170 metres, below Mount Kazbegi. The Church of Gergeti Trinity, or The Holly Trinity, was built during the 14th century and is isolated right above a very steep mountainside, surrounded by the nature that has made it the symbol of Georgia.
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House of Stalin Georgia was part of the former Soviet Union and there are signs of that everywhere, including the old Soviet-made vehicles that people are still driving, especially outside of Tbilisi. Joseph Stalin, who was the leader of the Soviet Union from the mid-1920s until his death in 1953, was born in Gori, part of todayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Georgia. Even though Stalin was a violent dictator, lots of Georgians respect him.
Local Cuisine Some of the best times I had in Georgia were when I was out with the locals, enjoying traditional meals together. The cuisine of Georgia has been influenced by European and Middle
Eastern food. One of the most iconic foods of Georgia is khinkali, a kind of dumpling. Khinkali is usually filled with seasoned pork, beef and sometimes lamb. There is a preferred way to eat this traditional dish. After the first bite, you suck out all the juices from inside the dumpling, and then you savour the rest of the khinkali. Georgia made me see and realize the true meaning of authenticity, especially when I had the pleasure to spend time with the locals. They were strangers, yet they treated me like we were old friends and welcomed me with their warm embraces. This is because for Georgians, a guest is a gift from God.
Info Box Visa Indonesian passport holders need to apply for a Georgian visa in advance. For details on how to apply for a visa, visit http://indonesia.mfa.gov.ge. How To Go:
Turkish Airlines: Jakarta – Istanbul – Tbilisi Aeroflot: Jakarta – Moscow – Tbilisi Price: Around US$1,200,- (price for December 2015) If you are on a budget, you can check flights from Kuala Lumpur, with an average price of around US$1,000. If you are planning to visit Turkey and want to continue your journey to Georgia: Istanbul – Tbilisi – Istanbul: around US$85 (price for December 2015) for a return ticket with Atlasjet Airlines
Georgian Lari (GEL) 1 GEL = 5,736 IDR 1 GEL = 0.41 USD
Best Time to Visit Georgia: Any season in Georgia is beautiful.
Travel Safe in Georgia and Armenia:
Georgia is an excellent destination, off the beaten track, with a troubled history, excellent cuisine, friendly and welcoming people. The unfamiliar alphabet can make getting around a challenge, unless you can read the signs, and public transportation is not as easy as in other European countries. I was lucky enough to find Envoy Tours (http://envoyhostel.com), which provides an easy, comfortable and informative way of exploring the beautiful countryside, including the unique Enlinking Caucasus tour. English-speaking guides will not only inform but also entertain you throughout the tour with anecdotes and a taste of the local humour.
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Take in the Extraordinary Alps Saying good night to the mountains, the sun throws his most beautiful rays to them, that they may not forget him till the morning â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Johanna Spyri, the author of Heidi. Text and Photos by Angelique Hidayat Wybier
hen I heard that we would be visiting the Alps, the first thing that came to my mind was the iconic childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s book Heidi. I could still picture the spectacular mountainous backdrop, green meadows, little wooden houses and white goats. Somehow, thinking of the Alps has always awakened the little girl in me. I couldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t wait! It was a beautiful morning and after a six-hour drive from Paris, we arrived at our destination, Le Jarbay, a charming ski resort situated at MontSaxonnex. The resort is set amidst the gorgeous natural beauty of the Alps and the whole scene
was shockingly accurate to my memories of Heidi. The resort was so calm and quiet that we thought we were the only guests there. Apparently, these types of chalets are mostly busy during the winter season, and during the summer they can only be rented for a minimum of one week at around 900 euros each. At Le Jarbay, each chalet is divided into a fully furnished two-bedroom apartment. What I love most about the resort is the indoor heated swimming pool, the fitness centre, the spa, the badminton court and the area for petanque (French style of lawn bowling). For a sports junkie like myself, these facilities made the whole stay even better.
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Saint Gervais, the Spa Town The adventure started the next day with a 40-minute drive to Saint Gervais. Saint Gervais is a bustling and enchanting little town that claims ownership of the famous Mont Blanc, Europe’s tallest mountain. It has the most direct access to the summit through its famous “Voie Royale,” which is the path for mountaineers to hike to the summit of this legendary mountain. I was almost too excited when I got a glimpse of the town. The 19th century spa architecture gives the town an antique-chic atmosphere, quite original for a ski resort. I was lucky for the town was having its weekly market and many locals were dressed in traditional costumes and dancing traditional dances. There was also an array of traditional foods, homemade ground coffee and, of course, Génépi, the traditional herbal liquor from the Alps. Saint Gervais is known as the only spa resort in the Alps, famous for its thermal baths where the water travels through the earth, exiting at 600
metres at a constant temperature of 32 degrees. It is rich in minerals and said to be good for the treatment of arthritis, eczema and psoriasis. Park Thermal is the perfect place to relax, especially after a challenging day on the slopes or trekking through the mountains. We visited Maison Forte de Haute Tour, a museum of the mountain guides of Saint Gervais that also features a stunning virtual ascent of Mont Blanc. If you are a mountaineer, you will love this museum!
Courmayeur, the Top Choice for Skiers in the Alps The following day, we went to Courmayeur, a gorgeous ski resort in Italy just by the French border. It took us about an hour to get there by car through the famous Mont Blanc Tunnel. The journey on its own was a joy! Courmayeur is a breathtakingly beautiful town with the typical Alps wooden architecture, dynamic landscape and colourful flowers at
every turn. I had an amazing time discovering many little shops selling homemade products like cookies, jams, spices and cheeses, not to mention all the distinctive handicrafts from the Alps. One of the main things to do here is to go up to the heart of Mont Blanc through the extraordinary engineered ropeway called The Skyway (which they claim to be the eighth wonder of the world!). This world-class facility stops at three different stations, all located at different altitudes, with the highest station being at 3,466 metres. When we arrived at the final station and went to the terrace, we were embraced by the majestic view of the peaks, which seemed to be at an armâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s length. What an amazing feeling to be so high up and so close to the summit of the tallest mountain in Europe. I canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t help but imagine how difficult it is for climbers to struggle for weeks to climb up to this level. I was there for only five minutes before I started to think of a hot shower.
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Village of a Million Activities
Finally, the Hikes!
Our next destination was Les Contamines, another charming village at the foot of Mont Blanc. The village proudly owns the largest leisure park in the region, with activities such as golf, a climbing school, swimming and rowing.
On our last two days, we finally went hiking. As beginners we chose some of the easiest tracks available. Although it all depends on the track, it is recommended that you get the right hiking shoes instead of just wearing your old sneakers, so when the hike gets rough, you wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t slip and sprain your ankle.
We took the ski lift up to Pontet Leisure Park, which boasts a gorgeous little lake. It was located next to a delightful restaurant with open terraces and long chairs. The emerald green water of the lake was incredibly transparent and the whole area offered astonishing views of pine trees, hills and mountains. We enjoyed an Alpine lunch experience of Tartiflette (potatoes, lardons and Reblochon cheese), followed by homemade blueberry tarts, before the kids went on a pedalo ride around the lake. We were tempted to go for a swim but the icy cold water convinced us to be happy just dipping our feet.
Our first trail was up a 300-metre steep hill at La Pointe dâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Andey of Mont Saxonnex, which offers a magical panorama of Lake Geneva and Mont Blanc. The climb was okay and we had numerous stops to drink in the view, but the rocky terrain made it challenging. It was a wonderful reward when we finally reached the top of that hill! Everywhere we looked was beauty beyond words.
Picnic by the Lake What a contrast! Our second hike was fun but still a good workout. This time we were not worried about falling off a cliff or stumbling upon rocks. It took us about 40 minutes to hike to Lake Benit. We crossed a forest then entered a meadow where summer flowers abounded. And there it was, my Heidi picture come to life! Laid in front of me were pretty little wooden houses and farms. Soon after, we arrived at the lake just in time for our well-deserved lunch. The Alps are definitely awe-inspiring and I was sad to leave. Surrounded by all that natural beauty, all I wanted to do was stop, breathe, listen to the hypnotizing silence and take in the extraordinary sights and sounds and sensations. In my heart, I knew without a doubt that I would be back, sooner â&#x20AC;Ś if not later.
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Explore Bali According to Your Zodiac Sign
Western astrology describes individual characteristics and personalities based on the position of the sun, moon and other planets on the date of oneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s birth. Each of the 12 zodiac signs has its own strengths and weaknesses, and shapes the desires and interests of people, including how they prefer to travel. From the adrenalineseeker Aries, the knowledge-thirsty Virgo and the peace-seeker Pisces, each zodiac sign has its own desires and favourites when it comes to holiday destinations. Bali is famously known as an island replete with inspiring activities and destinations and we at MAXX-M are pleased to explore all this tropical paradise has to offer for every zodiac sign. Photo courtesy of Bulgari Resort Bali
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March 21 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; April 20
Aries is the symbol of new beginnings. Aries is the first sign of the zodiac and Aries are naturally the leaders of other zodiac signs. Best known for being aggressive and creative, Aries seek transformation in every aspect of their lives.
Adventurous Rafting Journey Text by Dennis Latif | Photos courtesy of Toekad Rafting
ries is the symbol of new beginnings. Aries is the first sign of the zodiac and Aries are naturally the leaders of other zodiac signs. Best known for being aggressive and creative, Aries seek transformation in every aspect of their lives. Just like the ram in the wild, Aries act quickly without thinking first. Aries seek stimulation and excitement. For one Aries that might mean floating down a raging river, for another scaling a mountain, and for another it could mean staying in a luxury hotel and mixing with strangers.
approximately two hours, giving you the chance to appreciate the natural scenery, wildlife and exotic plants of Bali.
For adrenaline-seeker Aries, an adventurous rafting journey down the Ayung River, the longest river in Bali, is the ideal activity. The Ayung is a Class II river and can rise to Class IV during the rainy season. Your rafting adventure will take
Toekad Rafting Jl. Raya Kedewatan Ubud, Gianyar Bali â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Indonesia Phone. +62 361 898 9644 www.balitoekadrafting.com
There are several river rafting providers in Bali and one of the most recommended is Toekad Rafting. The Ayung River Rafting package includes air-conditioned return hotel transfers, rafting equipment (life jacket, helmet and paddle), rafting guide/instructor, buffet lunch, use of waterproof bag, insurance coverage, and shower facilities with soap, locker and towels.
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Dine With a View Text by Dennis Latif | Photos by Philip Kwok
ungle Fish, a stylish Mediterranean restaurant at Chapung SeBali Resort & Spa in Keliki – Ubud, where lush green valleys and mystical rivers create a tropical paradise, has gained fame among visitors and locals. This openair, split-level restaurant is perched on the side of a mountain overlooking the Osh River Valley. For Aries looking for something other than beach and sun, Jungle Fish is the chance to experience a different side of Bali. Jungle Fish’s name comes from a wall made from recycled glass whose mosaic design resembles shimmering fish scales. I started with the King Prawn Kebabs and Grilled Octopus for the starters. The fresh King Prawn Kebabs were served with tomato ginger pate and Sichuan pepper, while the generous-sized grilled octopus was served with fresh lemongrass dressing. For the main course, we had a large mixed grill meat platter for two consisting of pork, beef and chicken with fried potatoes and vegetables, all organic and cooked without MSG. It is truly a meat lover’s paradise. For the second
main course, we had a seafood platter of prawns, salmon and squid. There is also an interesting selection of mocktail, cocktails and wines. I had a refreshing passion fruit and tangerine mojito cocktail and a Classic Jungle Green mocktail consisting of kale, parsley, cucumber, green apple, lime and ginger. After we finished our delicious meals and drinks, we headed to the lower level of the restaurant where the bar, deck and swimming pool are located. Aries are full of energy, with great ideas and ambition, and the pool at Jungle Fish is the perfect spot to channel that energy, splashing around while drinking in the lush views of the green valleys. Jungle Fish Bali Chapung Sebali Resort & Spa Jl. Raya Sebali, Keliki, Ubud Bali – Indonesia Phone. +62 361 898 9104 www.junglefishbali.com Edition 1, 2016
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A New Chapter of Stylish Luxury For Aries who love adventure and destinations that stimulate their senses, Double-Six Luxury Hotel is the ultimate getaway. This vibrant and dynamic hotel in the heart of Baliâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Seminyak offers an unusual experience for those who are young at heart. Text by Dennis Latif | Photos courtesy of Double-Six Luxury Hotel, Philip Kwok
Suite Mood Upon arrival at the Double-Six Luxury Hotel, I am greeted by four towering pillars in the lobby facing the swimming pool. The expansive pool area faces the Double-Six beach and the Indian Ocean, and calls out to me to come cool off with a dip and a homemade gelato and sorbet from the gelato cart. Before that dip, however, the butler escorts me to my room, which is located on the third floor. All the rooms here are Suites, so they are quite spacious. I am in an 80-square-metre Deluxe Suite Ocean View, with a generously sized bedroom and bathroom, and super-luxurious Hermes amenities. A king-size bed is located in the middle of the room facing the ocean, only separated by floor-to-ceiling windows and the balcony. The check-in process is done in the suite
in no time, while I enjoy a welcome drink of ice blended sugarcane in a martini glass, with a shot of vodka poured over it. That night I discover that the suite has a mood lighting feature, with the indirect lights on the walls changing from yellow to red to blue and other colours. It changes the mood of the suite, emphasizing the modern, sexy feel of the room.
Wine and Dine Double-Six Luxury Hotel excels on many fronts, including its culinary offerings for hotel guests and outside diners. Breakfast is served at Seminyak Italian Food, with wonderful views of Double Six beach. The restaurant offers an extensive menu of Ă la carte breakfast offerings, ranging from local, Japanese and intercontinental to the interesting
“Russian”, which consists of soft-boiled quail eggs, smoked salmon, sour cream and salad, served with iced vodka lemon granita. Double-Six Rooftop is a must-visit venue at the hotel. With a high ceiling and open-air concept, this venue has everything necessary to amaze guests, including an aquarium containing live sharks, barbecue and satay open-kitchen surrounded by real fire, tall trees in the middle of the bar, and a series of “floating pods” overlooking the ocean. The best time to enjoy Double-Six Rooftop is sunset. Robert Marchetti The Plantation Grill is ready to pamper you at night. Located just one floor below the Rooftop, this restaurant transports guests back to the luxurious 1920s with its glamorous atmosphere, the laughter of beautiful women and gentlemen echoing throughout the room, and decorative touches including rich marble and leather, a beautiful spiral staircase, and floor-toceiling windows overlooking the vast sea. I enjoy their specialty dry-aged meat, the exclusively sourced and imported meat cooked on custommade grills and wood-fired ovens, accompanied by a glass – or two – of fine red wine.
Wellness Journey Entering Acqua Perla Spa is like entering the warm embrace of a tropical sea, with interior details that symbolise coral reefs and water flow, creating the feeling of an underwater kingdom. I experience the Vitality Hydrotherapy enchanting trail with seven different clusters of alternating hot and cold water therapies. My rejuvenation journey ends with an invigorating scrub on an exfoliation stone bed by a skilled therapist inside the hammam Turkish bath. Simply wonderful. For Aries who crave a sensational and different experience, Double-Six Luxury Hotel has a lot to offer, from mood lighting in the room, unique culinary offerings, wonderful and stylish restaurants and bars, charming facilities and luxurious amenities, combined with an excellent location in the dynamic and vibrant Seminyak area. Double-Six Luxury Hotel, Seminyak Double Six Beach, No. 66, Seminyak Bali - Indonesia Phone. +62 361 730 466 www.double-six.com
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April 21 – May 20
Taurus is a symbol of certainty, with a strong will and a desire for inner and physical wellbeing. Taurus have a taste for the good things in life but tend to be conservative. They enjoy beautiful music and a good day spa.
Ultimate Pampering Text by Dennis Latif | Photos courtesy of Mango Tree Spa
aurus may be the sign of the bull, but this bull is not the charging, slavering type. Picture a contented cow in a rolling green meadow. That is the typical Taurus. No other sign loves a good day spa more than the Taurus, a gentle treatment that soothes both body and mind. And one of the best spas in Bali is Mango Tree Spa by L’Occitane at Kupu Kupu Barong Villas and Tree Spa. This spa sanctuary is just a few minutes’ drive from the centre of Ubud. The lush tropical gardens overlooking the river and rice paddies welcome me as I enter this palace of healing. A friendly woman greets me in the lobby, which also sells L’Occitane products. Several minutes later I am escorted to a spacious treatment room, with a large bathtub, changing room, toilet and shower in the back. I enjoy the 180- minute Wings of Love treatment, which is heaven on earth. It begins with a one-hour Aromachologie Relaxing Massage based on Swedish effleurage, Chinese acupressure points and long, kneading Balinese strokes. This heavenly massage experience loosened up my tense muscles, hitting all the right spots.
That was followed by a L’Occitane body scrub, the skilful hands of the therapist working on my entire body, getting rid of dead skin cells, leaving my skin healthy and glowing. Next was a warm, invigorating dip in the L’Occitane Provencal bath followed by a one-hour facial massage using L’Occitane products. The therapist carefully determined my skin type and then suggested the perfect products for my slightly oily skin. The result was dramatic and immediate; my skin felt so much younger, cleaner, and fresh. After three hours immersed in heavenly pleasures, I was gently woken by the therapist and escorted back to the real world, presented with a cup of hot tea and a colourful macaroon for a sweet closing to an unforgettable wellness trip. One thing is certain, any true Taurus will love the experience of being pampered from head to toe. Mango Tree Spa by L’Occitane Kupu Kupu Barong Villas and Tree Spa Bali – Indonesia Phone. +62 361 975 478 www.kupubarongubud.com
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Vintage Touch Text by Dennis Latif | Photos courtesy of Balique
hose born under the sign of the Taurus in search of peace and relaxation can find what they are looking for by immersing themselves in a homey, comfortable atmosphere. That is exactly what they will find at Bali’s Balique restaurant. Balique is located in Jimbaran, one of the prime locations in Bali and home to the most beautiful sunsets on the Island of the Gods. This original eatery blends harmoniously with its natural surroundings through its innovative rustic design and inspiring use of natural elements from around the Indonesian archipelago, all set under its clever open-style roof. The result is a beautiful restaurant that celebrates Indonesia’s rich heritage and embraces the calm and peace of Bali’s Jimbaran area. Little wonder this restaurant is so often used for photo shoots, exclusive dinner parties and intimate weddings. Balique’s owner, Zohra Boukhari, an award-winning Moroccan designer who has worked from Bali
for the last two decades, felt the need to share her experience, emotional journey, passion and love for the culture of Indonesia, especially Bali. Guests will find her personal touch throughout Balique. This Indonesian-Mediterranean restaurant with French cuisine offers a selection of toothsome dishes that match the beautiful design. Try the Ayam Kalas, which consists of chicken, coconut curry, green beans and authentic Indonesian spices. If you are in the mood for seafood, the Ikan Pepes, seasoned snapper wrapped in banana leaf, is sure to please. The fruit-based cocktail Diana Marie Woods and the Mojito Royale are perfect choices to slake your thirst in sunny Bali. Balique Jl. Uluwatu No 89, Jimbaran Bali – Indonesia Phone. +62 361 704 945 www.balique-restaurant.com
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Soul Surrender There is no sign that loves a pampering journey more than Taurus. Day spa treatments that soothe both mind and body are just what a Taurus ordered. A special place of healing that teaches a new way of living, COMO Shambhala Estate at Begawan Giri is the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s first full-service residential health retreat. Text by Melani Semuel | Photos courtesy of COMO Shambhala Estate at Begawan Giri
ife in a fast-moving metropolis like Jakarta can be stressful. The statistics show that many people spend too much time working, leaving them little chance for much else, which is what happened to me. The last few months have been particularly hectic. I had so much on my plate it felt like 24 hours in a day were not enough. Work took over my whole my life and I felt like I was being buried beneath all the pressure. I had heard a lot about COMO Shambhala Estate at Begawan Giri, with people raving about this health retreat. I decided to check into the resort, hoping it would help me cope with the stress and leave me feeling better. It never occurred to me that I would check out of the resort a completely new person.
COMO Shambhala Estate at Begawan Giri is a unique residential health retreat located in Ubud, Bali. The 9.3-hectare estate is situated in an inland jungle, on a peaceful riverbank. It is a place where the spring water is revered for its healing properties. It is a haven where silence still reigns. All of the residences, villas and suites are designed to allow guests to engage with COMO Shambhalaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s greater purpose, which is to clear the mind of everything but thoughts of better physical, mental and spiritual health. COMO Shambhala Estate at Begawan Giri is a retreat for change, providing inspiration and encouragement for guests to make their own personal journey towards better health. It advocates proactive wellness, offering lifestyle as well as healing programmes. The fully immersive, 360-degree experience is closely tailored to each
individual’s needs. What is required from guests is a willingness to engage in the process of renewal and positive change. The estate is not a destination spa but a holistic health centre committed to the process of lifelong learning. Holistic health means taking care of mind, body and spirit and balancing these three integrated components. At the estate, you will find the space to re-connect with nature’s rhythms, the time to discover new passions and the momentous opportunity to shed old habits. The estate provides a nurturing environment for guests to take the necessary steps to face personal issues and future challenges. On hand is a highly experienced team of specialists dedicated to guiding guests out of their familiar comfort zones towards higher goals, unrealised depths, new strengths and a sense of equilibrium. They help guests change mindsets and set new perspectives. Physical activity is particularly compelling at the estate, which features a range of daily activities that are complimentary to all estate guests. In line with my journey towards healthy living, I joined some of the activities, such as Chi Gong, Yoga, the Estate Walk, Pilates, the Rice Filed Trek, Aquatherapy and many more. Contrary to my first thought, these activities are not just about breaking a sweat. During the activities, I learnt valuable lessons such as the correct breathing technique to reduce stress and the correct body posture. Food lies at the very heart of good living – not just in terms of our physical health but also in the larger scheme of enjoying each day and what it brings to the table. The estate serves healthy cuisine at
its two restaurants. Kudus House, a 150-year-old former Javanese residence, showcases the diverse flavours and spices of Indonesian dishes. Glow, a contemporary designed restaurant, offers all-day dining. The menus focus on organic, fresh and nutritional cuisine that is low in sugar, salt and fat. Meat, fish and vegetables are featured, and raw fruits and vegetables are particularly important. There is an extensive juice and vegetable extract menu. The estate does not encourage calorie-counting diets, but rather fosters a more balanced approach, encouraging guests to enjoy food and its creation while maintaining a lifelong interest in the benefits of good nutrition. I found the food absolutely delicious, with a wide variety of healthy choices to satisfy my every craving. Taurus love to stay connected to the earth and everything surrounding it, and that’s exactly what I found during my stay at the resort. Staying at COMO Shambhala Estate at Begawan Giri was an eye-opener. In that short time, I learnt about rebalancing my life, stress management and the importance of healthy living. I know it is a continuous learning process and I still have a lot to discover, but the whole experience has helped me to make life-changing improvements to my health and discover a new passion for life. COMO Shambhala Estate at Begawan Giri Banjar Begawan, Desa Melinggih Kelod Payangan, Gianyar Bali – Indonesia Phone. +62 361 978 888 cse.comoshambhala.bz
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May 21 – June 20
Gemini is a sign of intelligence. Communication and language are very important to people born under this sign. Geminis have a love of learning and diversity is their spice of life.
Segway by the Beach Text by Dennis Latif Photo courtesy of Segway Bali
emini is a sign of intelligence. Communication and language are very important to people born under this sign. Geminis have a love of learning and diversity is their spice of life. They do not like routine. Knowledge and a quick mind are hallmarks of this sign. Geminis have a natural charm and charisma that attracts other zodiac signs to them. And they love discovery! Geminis love to enjoy life and rarely look back. Imagine a boat in a vast sea going from port to port, not stopping for long, but making sure to check everything out. They have a childlike curiosity and always need to experience something new, only staying in one place long enough to make some really good stories; after all, Geminis are natural storytellers. Geminis will love the chance to explore Bali in a completely novel way. After all, what could be more exotic than driving around the Island of the Gods on a Segway, a self-balanced twowheel electric vehicle? Each tour is led by an experienced guide and safety equipment is included. Tours typically start at the Segway Bali head ofﬁce in Sanur. This is the perfect spot to get rolling because the traffic is lighter and the beach boulevard is ideal for a fun Segway experience. After a brief introduction to the Segway, you are ready to begin your amazing sightseeing tour. As you glide noiselessly along the beach boulevard,
drink in the beautiful view of the Lombok peninsula to the east and feel the caress of the fresh sea breeze. A visit to a Balinese temple is likely to be on the agenda and the guide will talk about Balinese religion and culture. Bespoke tours are provided on request, including village tours that will take you away from the typical tourist areas. These tours will be operated from The Manipura Luxury Estate Ubud, the Segway Bali branch ofﬁce at. For this full-day tour, guests are picked up in the morning at their hotel for transportation high into the mountains. You will glide along scenic rice paddies, through a beautiful village with exotic house temples and village temple. You will also have the chance to interact with villagers and watch them go about their daily lives. Along the way, you can learn about rice harvesting and the traditional Balinese lifestyle. Before returning to their hotels, the last stop is a scenic restaurant for a late lunch. There is so much to do and see on this journey, it will be anything but boring for Geminis. Segway Bali CV. Bali-Green-Connection Jl. Danau Tamblingan No. 121, Sanur Bali – Indonesia Phone. +62 361 270 478 www.baligreenconnection.com/segway
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Fun Fun at Char Char Text by Dennis Latif Photos by Philip Kwok
eminis can get bored easily and prefer not to be in one place for too long. So when it comes to restaurants, they want something unique and entertaining, with an expansive menu and an engaging location that allows for a bit of people watching. Char Char Bar & Grill Seminyak certainly fits the bill. It is located in the dynamic Seminyak area of Bali, offers an elegant and classy ambience, and a large menu with a truly dazzling selection of dishes. From the street you will see a flight of steps that are actually not stairs, but rather a chill zone for guests to sit and watch the busy street as they enjoy drinks and a meal. The ground floor of Char Char is the restaurant’s non-smoking area. It is beautifully designed and has a bar and staircase leading up to the second floor. The second floor is surprisingly large, with
an open-air concept (it has a retractable roof that closes in minutes in the event of rain). There is a huge kitchen, salad bar, drinks bar, lots of tables and stools, and a Mongolian grill in the centre of the room. The menu covers a lot of ground, including lobster bisque, Hamachi (fish) filler, prawns, oysters, steak, and Asian fusion dishes such as laksa clams, lemongrass dory, tuna tataki, banana chicken, Sichuan orange rack of lamb and more. But the specialty is the Mongolian Grill menu. There are also drinks and desserts such as crème brulee and Lychee panna cotta. There is so much to taste and see at Char Char Bar & Grill Seminyak, even the most finicky Gemini will be pleased. Char Char Bar & Grill Seminyak Jl. Kayu Aya, Seminyak Bali – Indonesia Phone. +62 361 738 720
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In the Heart of Seminyak Geminis are known for their fondness for change. A Gemini never wants to be tied to a routine, doing and seeing the same thing day after day. That is not a concern in Baliâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s happening Seminyak area, home to a vibrant nightlife, fantastic shopping and a dizzying selection of dining options. Text by Dennis Latif | Photos courtesy of Alila Seminyak
Priceless Experience Located in the heart of Seminyak, adjacent to the beach and with pretty shops on either side, Alila Seminyak is the ideal base from which to explore all that the area has to offer. Arriving at the property, I am greeted by the friendly and helpful staff. The lobby is spacious and modern, with a high ceiling and a vertical living green wall behind the reception desk. Welcome drinks and cold towels quickly arrive as I check in. I am staying in a Deluxe Ocean Suite on the ground floor, with a view of the Indian Ocean. This large suite contains a living room, bedroom, bathroom and balcony. The living room is spacious, with a large sofa and flat-screen TV. There is a king-size bed in the bedroom and a wooden room divider between the bathroom and bedroom that also
serves as a mirror when closed. The suite is sophisticated, modern and minimalist. It also comes with the full range of modern gadgets and technology, including interactive TV and highspeed Internet. Beautiful Balinese paintings hang in the living room, but the ultimate Balinese touch is the view of the Indian Ocean from the balcony. In the evening, when the sun goes down, I have a front-row seat to the gorgeous tropical sunset from the privacy of my own balcony.
Dining and Sunset It does not take long to fall in love with this property. In addition to the friendly service, magnificent sights, relaxing and sophisticated ambience, Alila Seminyak also features a selection of attractive dining spots. The resortâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s all-day dining restaurant is located between
the bar and the main pool, and has indoor and outdoor seating. Breakfast is served and features an extensive selection, from fresh-made breads and pastries to traditional Western and Asian dishes and local selections. Lunch and dinner prepared in the open-style kitchen featuring an Asian noodle bar and a grill and rotisserie, offering adventures into authentic and favourite flavours. Another perfect spot to enjoy the sunset besides my balcony is the Beach Bar, a chill-out space that invites guests to sink into a daybed or armchair, listen to the beach music and sip a signature cocktail. Meanwhile, the Coffee Bar serves up preferred brews and more exotic concoctions such as the Espresso Martini. Whatever you desire, the skilful baristas are ready to brew up pure delight. And don’t miss the breath-taking ocean views by the bar.
Wonderful Journey There are plenty of activities to choose from at Alila Seminyak, but it would be difficult to top the one-hour signature massage at the Spa. The skilful hands of the therapist hit all the right parts on my body, unknotting my muscles and soothing body
and soul. Alila’s therapists are trained in anatomy and massage, and offer a warm, genuine touch that flows from the heart through the hands, to stimulate, rejuvenate, balance and relax mind and body. For Geminis who love change and who move from place to place, Alila Seminyak has an itinerary that is sure to please. The Rom-Antique Roadshow takes you on a journey to Bali’s west coast and its collection of beaches and beach clubs, with a touch of culture and history, all in a fully restored vintage 1980 Volkswagen Kombi. Cruise through rice fields, visit a 17th century fertility temple built on a rock in the ocean, explore the great beach venues in the area and chill out with signature cocktails and dine as you desire as the sun sets over the ocean. Alila offers so many wonderful activities to ensure an exhilarating stay. Alila Seminyak Jl. Taman Ganesha No. 9, Seminyak Bali – Indonesia Phone. +62 361 302 1888 www.alilahotels.com/seminyak
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June 21 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; July 20
Cancers are sympathetic, heroic and eager to protect the people and things they care about. Cancers are loving, loyal and compassionate. They long for a sense of security and balance in life.
Adopt a Turtle Text by Dennis Latif | Photos courtesy of Kura Kura Guide
ancers are sympathetic, heroic and eager to protect the people and things they care about. They have long memories and will remind you of things you have done in the past, especially things you want to forget. Cancers are loving, loyal and compassionate. They long for a sense of security and balance in life. Cancers have strong intuition and are in tune with the thoughts and feelings of the people around them. At the same time, Cancers can be aggressive if challenged; donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t mess with the crab unless you are ready to be pinched. Cancers are homebodies and when they travel, they like to bring their families with them. So, Cancers look for destinations where they can bring their children, parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins; a destination they can visit year after year, and remember decades from now as the best family vacation ever. What better family destination than the Turtle Conservation and Education Centre (TCEC)? Not only is this a great activity for family, especially families with
kids, it also appeals to the loving personality of Cancers. TCEC opened on the small island of Serangan in 2006 and is supported by WWF, the Bali government and the local community. It aims to educate locals and visitors alike about sea turtle conservation in Bali. Activities at TCEC include hosting injured turtles, buying eggs from locals to prevent them from being eaten and collecting turtle nests from busy tourist beaches and bringing them to the centre to put in the purpose-built hatchery. There is no entrance fee, but you are free to leave a donation. It is also possible to adopt a turtle for IDR 100,000 and in return you will receive a certificate from TCEC and will be able to help in the release of your chosen turtle, if you are still in Bali. This is surely one of most inspiring and interesting activities for families in Bali. Turtle Conservation and Education Centre Serangan Island Bali â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Indonesia Phone. +62 361 857 7881 www.blog.kura2guide.com
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Eclectic Charm Text by Dennis Latif | Photos by Philip Kwok
o get to La Laguna restaurant, head west from the lively tourist area of Seminyak, onto the quieter Jalan Batu Belig. The restaurant is located at the northern end of Batu Belig, adjacent to the nearby beach. For Cancers who love spending time with their families and loved ones, making lasting memories, this family-friendly restaurant is the place to be. As you enter the parking area of La Laguna, you are greeted by a series of wooden caravans, beautifully decorated with carvings and flowers. The pathway leads to the restaurant’s entrance, where guests are greeted and escorted to their table. La Laguna has an interesting layout and eclectic charm and décor. There are indoor and outdoor seating areas. The outdoor area offers a choice of seating, from bohemian cushions and beautifully engraved iron chairs to large mattresses, surrounded by gardens, trees and flowers. Opposite the entrance is a wooden bridge that leads to the beach and stunning sunset views.
The menu at La Laguna is quite extensive, with everything from tapas to Chargrilled Beef Tenderloin served with baby grilled vegetables, and Lamb Lollipops, a 200-gram rack of lamb served over a bed of Lebanese tabbouleh. There is a choice of drinks, from La Laguna signatures such as White River (banana, vodka, banana liqueur, Baileys and vanilla syrup) and Falling in Love (vodka, vanilla syrup, Frangelico, amaretto and milk), to contemporary classics such as Long Island Ice Tea, Negroni, Mai Tai and many more. They is also a selection of desserts to satisfy your sweet tooth, such as chocolate brownie served with vanilla ice cream, stewed Rhubarb with crumbled oats, Caramel ring filled with seasoned fruits and Lemongrass Crème Brulee topped with raspberries. La Laguna Jl. Pura Kayu Putih, Canggu Bali – Indonesia Phone. +62 361 474 1214
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Home Away From Home When Cancers travel, they like to take home with them. Cancers often choose to bring their family with them on vacation and The Trans Resort Bali is the ideal place for a family vacation, where everyone is guaranteed to have a great time. Text by Melani Semuel | Photos courtesy of The Trans Resort Bali
ime spent with the people you love the most, your family, is time well spent. If you are planning a holiday in Bali with your family, look no further than The Trans Resort Bali. Located in the heart of trendy Seminyak, Trans Resort blends the richness of Indonesian tradition with contemporary refinement, making the resort unique, opulent and cosy at the same time. While checking in at the spacious lobby, I can see the invitingly clear blue swimming pool hidden amidst the tropical garden and waterfall. The modern resort features 184 spectacular guest rooms and suites, and 16 palatial villas with private pools. Our room is generous in size and upon entering it is immediately clear that the resort uses nothing but the best to ensure a memorable stay. The room is located directly opposite the waterfall and boats the best view of the shimmering sandy beach pool and tropical
garden. There is a spacious balcony with daybed and private hot tub, perfect for relaxing while enjoying the gorgeous tropical views. The resort also offers modern one-bedroom villas called Balinese Kampung. These 350-squaremetre villas indulge guests with a spacious living and dining room in the middle of a blissfully lush Balinese garden and an oversized luxurious bathroom and private outdoor shower. For family vacations, check into the glamorous three-bedroom Presidential Villa, with each bedroom containing a king-size bed and beautifully appointed en-suite bathroom. For family fun time, there is a large sitting and dining area as well as the blue pool and beautiful garden to make your stay perfect. Children are guaranteed to have fun on their own at The Kids Club. Designed specially for the
enjoyment of little ones, The Kids Club offers plenty of creative activities to choose from. The area is equipped with an Arts and Crafts Area, Lego Station, Ship Playground, Childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Library, Multimedia Area with Wii, Xbox, Kinetic and PS4 consoles, Tree House, Air Hockey and BaskinRobbins counter. While the kids are having fun at The Kids Club, mom and dad can enjoy a little pampering at The Spa. With its well-orchestrated treatments by highly skilled therapists, you are welcome to soak in the rich Balinese heritage with an array of indulgences including sea salt scrub for glowing and invigorated skin and a luxurious caviar and pearl facial.
looking over the unequalled panoramic views of the Kuta-Seminyak-Kerobokan seaside crescent. Staying at The Trans Resort Bali, you are sure to have a great time. You can simply relax and enjoy the resort with your family, creating your own paradise. And when you want to enjoy the best of Bali, the resort is just steps away from bustling Seminyak. When you are looking for a home away from home, The Trans Resort Bali is the place to be. The Trans Resort, Bali Jl. Sunset Road, Kerobokan, Seminyak Bali â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Indonesia Phone. +62 361 898 1234 www.transresortbali.com
In the evening, I would recommend you to go the seventh floor of the resort and head to the 18th Rooftop Bar. Sip a signature Trans Redlight while
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July 21 – August 20
The lion is the king of the jungle, so it is only natural that Leos prefer to travel in royal style. Leos are dramatic, gallant and colourful, and love to be the centre of attention.
Glamorous Journey Text by Dennis Latif Photo courtesy of John Hardy
he lion is the king of the jungle, so it is only natural that Leos prefer to travel in royal style. Leos are dramatic, gallant and colourful, and love to be the centre of attention. Leos are confident and forthright in stating what they feel, but sometimes they are quick to get angry. Leos have an amazing self-carriage that attracts people to them. They are adaptable and are born leaders who like nothing more than having the power to delegate duties. Anything that has flash or glamour attracts the attention of Leos, for whom life is a celebration. Though Leos love luxury, they can still have fun with simple but meaningful activities like camping or riding a roller coaster with their loved ones! One activity in Bali sure to appeal to Leos and their love of luxury is the John Hardy Ubud workshop and showroom tour, giving them a chance to watch the talented artisans and designers create these artisan-crafted luxury jewellery pieces. Each John Hardy piece represents a magical element meant to empower the wearer; every piece is powerful, dramatic and inspiring in its own unique way. The tour takes two to three hours and begins in the open-air design centre, where the designers work amidst the green rice paddies, creating beautiful designs inspired by nature, leg-
ends and mythical creatures, all drawn from the beauty of Bali. Next on the tour is the John Hardy workshop to watch the artisans at work. It is truly amazing how they precisely craft each piece at the different stations, creating shimmering masterpieces. All the workers are locals and they are dedicated to what they do. Guests then visit the Kapal Bambu Boutique, a beautiful bamboo structure where current and vintage collections of John Hardy jewellery are on display and for sale. Enjoy a cool towel and a refreshing mocktail while shopping for a shiny treasure. The tour ends with a savoury traditional Balinese lunch alongside the talented artisans and designers, served at a long table under the shade of Banyan trees. You can also explore the property’s organic farm and kitchen for a glimpse of how the food was made. John Hardy Workshop & Showroom Br. Baturning Mambal, Abiansemal, Ubud Bali – Indonesia Phone. +62 361 469 888 www.johnhardy.com/visit-us-in-bali
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Gado-Gado Luxe Text by Dennis Latif | Photos courtesy of Chez Gado Gado, Philip Kwok
eos love fancy things, which influences their dining habits. Chez Gado Gado is located in the lively Seminyak area, next to the famous Double Six Beach. This former legendary nightclub has been transformed into a luxurious restaurant with a world-class food and drinks menu. This romantic dining venue has indoor and outdoor seating, with the indoor seating area located in a high-ceilinged building with contemporary chandeliers and a grand piano, creating a lavish and elegant atmosphere. The outdoor seating is under large trees and hanging lamps, colouring the scene in a soft, romantic hue. I choose the Quail Eggs and Slipper Lobster for the starters. The Quail consists of fresh green salad, mushrooms in vinaigrette, raisins, hazelnuts, capers, Pino de Bali and, of course, quail eggs. It is a unique combination of sweet and salty, and not too filling, making it the perfect appetizer. The Slipper Lobster is a must-try, the lobster poached in butter, served with pumpkin ravioli, hazelnuts and garlic emulsion.
For the main course, I order pan-seared barramundi with kaffir lime, chilli, raisins, capers vinaigrette, green peas, soybeans and grilled potato, for a truly fresh, perfectly seasoned dish. The second main course is the 3 Ways Pork, consisting of baby back ribs and pork belly and shoulder, served with cucumber, soy, corn, chilli sauce, sweet and sour cabbage, and coconut rice. I love the tender and juicy meat, which simply melts in my mouth. Of course, another must-try dish is the restaurantâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s namesake gado-gado. Unlike the usual gado-gado, this one has an interesting mix of warm and pickled vegetables, flowers, herbs, crispy coconut crumbs and peanuts. It is an explosion of rich flavours, a perfect dish to begin your culinary journey or simply a delicious snack between drinks. Chez Gado Gado Jl. Camplung Tanduk 99, Seminyak Bali â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Indonesia Phone. +62 361 736 966 www.gadogadorestaurant.com Edition 1, 2016
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Dazzling Stay Leos revel in luxury and being treated like the royalty they are. One of the most luxurious accommodations on the Island of the Gods is Bulgari Resort Bali. This resort is in a whole different league from other resorts in the area and the world, in terms of grandeur, opulence and luxury. Text by Dennis Latif | Photos courtesy of Bulgari Resort Bali
Luxurious Living Bulgari Resort Bali is located on the southwestern tip of Bali, about a 40-minute drive from touristy areas like Kuta, near Pecatu and close to Pura Luhur Uluwatu Temple, this is once a sacred hunting ground for Balinese royalty. The resort has two lobbies, the first located outside, with high thatched roof and generous use of Bukit stone, perfectly capturing the elegant and exotic ambience of Bali. Bukit stone is a white coral stone that quickly turns black when wet, complementing the surrounding environment dominated by dark grey boulders towards the sea and volcanic tuff downstream. Another lobby is located inside the resort and made from the same precious native woods extensively used throughout the resort. My check-in process was completed in no time and I was quickly shown to my villa. This resort is comprised of 58 villas with ocean view, 5 mansions offering 3- to 5-bedroom accommodation, and the 1,300-square-metre Bulgari Villa. All accommodations offer a plunge pool and patio
with secluded tropical garden, high-tech features and, of course, Bulgari amenities. Welcome snacks like mocha cake Bali and traditional toys like a kite are provided in the villa. They also provide a daily weather forecast and sunrise and sunset times, so guests can maximize their experience. My villa is spacious and divided into bedroom and bathroom space, and an outdoor space consisting of plunge pool, sundeck, patio and tropical garden. Dark colours dominate, giving the impression of luxury and elegance. A massive bathtub is located at the middle of the bathroom, with luxurious black Terrazzo flooring and an indoor and outdoor rain shower. The walk-in closet located between the bathroom and bedroom contains lots of surprises for the beach experience including straw hats, woven bags, outdoor sandals, sunscreen and a bag for dirty clothes. The bedroom is surrounded on three sides by floor-to-ceiling windows, making the area look even more spacious. There is a high thatched roof and the villa also comes with the latest technology including Bang & Olufsen flat-
screen TV with Bluetooth so you can connect to it with your gadgets and play your own music or watch videos.
Unforgettable Experience One of the best things about my stay was the spa experience. Bulgari Resort Bali has six fully equipped treatment rooms and two royal pavilions with outdoor gardens, outdoor rain showers and plunge pool. Upon my arrival, I am greeted by a friendly woman and led through the selection of treatments on offer. I choose the signature Bulgari Massage treatment to loosen up my tense muscles. My treatment begins with a Balinese Foot Ritual, and then I am given the choice of three different Eâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;SPA oils for my massage. The therapists at Bulgari have perfected the art of deep-tissue massage, hitting all the right spots. My pleasurable journey ends with a glass of hibiscus ice tea and ginger cookies.
Enchanting Facilities Bulgari Resort Bali has everything necessary to make your stay a memorable one. Il Ristorante,
Sangkar Restaurant and The Bar have amazing selections of food and drinks, not to mention the cliff-top location for truly wonderful views of the vast Indian Ocean. The Bulgari Mansions offer an unrivalled stay experience for large families, ranging from three to five bedrooms. Each mansion has its own swimming pool, sundeck, fully equipped kitchen, lavish chandeliers, beautiful stairs and lovely tropical garden. The Bulgari Chapel is the latest exclusive event venue at this magnificent cliff-edge resort. Set like a unique gemstone in a one-of-a-kind location, overlooking the ocean, this wedding chapel seeks to enchant couples who aspire to wed within the exclusive setting of the Bulgari Resort Bali that bears the Bulgari mark of ultimate elegance, style and sophistication. Bulgari Resort Bali Jl. Goa Lempeh, Uluwatu Bali â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Indonesia Phone. +62 361 847 1000 www.bulgarihotels.com
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August 21 – September 20
A Virgo is the type of person who wants everything perfect, is good at scrutinizing the work of others and dislikes spending energy without a purpose. Virgos love a vacation that involves self-improvement.
An Eye-opening Experience Text by Dennis Latif | Photos courtesy of Green Village
he Virgo is an analyser and a reliable team member. A Virgo is the type of person who wants everything perfect. Virgos are good at scrutinizing the work of others and dislike spending energy without a purpose. When it comes to travel, Virgos want to enrich themselves on their vacation, pick up new skills and knowledge. Virgos love a vacation that involves self-improvement. Whether it be a yoga trip, cooking class or art workshop, Virgos love to improve themselves. One of the most enriching activities I have experienced in Bali is Green Village Tour. The tour takes you to three destinations – Green Village, Bamboo Factory and Green School – with about an hour dedicated to each location. Green Village is a community of unconventional homes clustered along the slopes of Bali’s beautiful Ayung River. There are spectacular houses constructed entirely by hand from locally sourced bamboo, including Palm House, Sunrise House and Temple House. Sharma Springs is by far my favourite, this six-storey bamboo house being the latest addition to Green Village. The main entrance is an enormous bamboo tube accessing the fourth floor, where the lounge and
kitchen are situated. The lowest level connects to a private garden and pool. It also has four double bedrooms, lounge and dining area with fabulous views, an office/work area on the highest level, a media room, a kids’ playroom and an outside barbecue area. All the rooms are decorated with bamboo furniture, perfectly complementing the house. This rent-able house also includes a butler and ADSL wi-fi. Bamboo Factory is where I learnt about the whole bamboo process, from plantation to workshop right through to design. There are also workshop classes on Model Making, House Building, Coconut Treasures and Joinery Techniques. The last part of the tour explores the imaginative campus of Green School, with its 50-plus bamboo structures, surrounded by forest and rice fields. You can learn about their use of alternative energy sources and their focus on creativity and culture. Green Village Tour is truly an eye-opening experience. Green Village Jl. Tanah Ayu, Sibang Gede, Abiansemal Bali – Indonesia Phone. +62 811 392 2254 www.greenvillagebali.com
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Sumptuously Mozaic Text by Dennis Latif | Photos by Mozaic, Philip Kwok
ituated in central Ubud, Mozaic is one of the town’s true dining gems. The restaurant has been famously known over the years for its selection of scrumptious food and drinks and its super-romantic ambience. Guests are welcome to wait in Mozaic Lounge for their reservation, whetting their appetite with one of the Mozaic Lounge canapés. I have the Baked Chouquette and Black Truffle Cream, the crisp Baked Chouquette perfectly matched with the black truffle cream filling. It is the perfect preview for the main meal to come. I am experiencing the eight-course Grand Menu, starting with an interesting amuse-bouche of three cornettos – Cornetto of Salmon Tartar, Yuzu and Salmon Roe; Cornetto of Mushroom and Parmesan Cheese; and Cornetto of Foie Gras Mousse, Apple and Lemongrass. That is followed by Kecicang, seared Indian Ocean Prawns served with pickled radish and fresh torch ginger flower. This is where things get interesting. There is a plate of herbs, fruits and spices at every table, and every time a dish is served, the waiter points out the ingredients used in the dish from the display plate in the centre of the table, so you can feel, touch and smell the herbs yourself. Virgos will love this learning experience.
The second dish is Suna Cekuh, a wonderful confied coral trout, smoked corn puree, baby corn and aromatic ginger, followed by Jeruk Purut, a Tasmanian salmon confied in Balinese Basa Gede oil, shaved fennel and kaffir lime dressing. Another interesting dish is the Kluwek, which is rice husk-smoked duck breast and chilled foie gras, Sundanese kluwek, beetroot and anise herbs. The fifth course is Jeruk Bali, a Kintamani suckling pork, served with Javanese pomelo puree, kailan and oyster mushroom. I love how the juicy meat melts in my mouth. This is followed by Nangka, an Australian lamb loin served with young jackfruit puree, sautéed bok choy, rock spices and cardamom infused demiglace. For dessert there is a Seasonal Mango sorbet served with lemon basil gelee and candied mango, followed by Kenari nut and curry parfait served with star fruit sorbet and candied baby star fruit. Petits fours of assorted chocolate and cookies are served as a sweet closing. I love how Mozaic Ubud combines exotic local ingredients with innovative preparation and presentation, creating a truly world-class dining experience. Mozaic Jl. Raya Sanggingan, Ubud Bali – Indonesia Phone. +62 361 975 768 www.mozaic-bali.com Edition 1, 2016
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Relaxing Ubud Plataran Ubud Hotel & Spa overlooks the serene green of paddy fields, providing a refreshing, balancing experience that evokes a deep sense of peace. Text by Melani Semuel | Photos courtesy of Plataran Ubud Hotel & Spa
irgos want to enrich themselves on vacation. This is the sign of perfectionists, craftspeople, deep thinkers. Virgos love nothing more than combining holiday and self-improvement, whether it be nurturing an organic farm or learning pottery making. There is no better place for Virgos to develop themselves than Plataran Ubud Hotel & Spa. Plataran Ubud Hotel & Spa has 46 finely appointed guest rooms and suites, 3 Garden Suites and 2 Plunge Pool Suites spread across the resort’s two‐ hectare perimeter. With an extraordinary valley backdrop and stunning picturesque views, each room is designed to provide the ultimate escape from the everyday. Modern amenities and supreme
comfort are perfectly paired with Balinese‐inspired décor to create an ideal setting for rest, relaxation and a fulfilling Balinese experience. Our room had a beautiful view of rice paddies, inspiring us to join the morning walk and explore the surrounding area. It was a fantastic experience as we learnt about the rich culture and customs of Bali. The air was so fresh as we made our way through the rice fields and the surrounding village, watching the villagers go about their daily routines. That is just one of many activities on offer here, including sunrise yoga and a Balinese cooking experience, with each activity sure to enrich your knowledge. After exploring Ubud, make sure to be back at the hotel to enjoy afternoon tea. Every day from 4pm
to 5pm you can enjoy complimentary Indonesian tea with assorted Balinese cakes and pastries at the Banyan Tree Yoga deck, enjoying the view of the flowing river and the sound of birds singing in the tropical gardens.
Indonesian delicacies to Western comfort foods. Patio Ubud Restaurant & Bar not only lets you experience serenity and amazing views from the back deck, but also the bustling streets of central Ubud.
Feeling tired after the morning walk and exploring Ubud, I retreated to Padma Spa for some pampering. I simply surrendered to the hands of the expert therapist as she massaged away all the tired muscles. It was so relaxing, I felt asleep during the massage, which does not happen often, and only when the treatment is very good.
For a trip that is not only relaxing but also enriching, you have to experience Plataran Ubud Hotel & Spa.
The spa is not the only thing that is good here. To indulge in good food, you donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t even have to step out of the hotel. There is a selection of dining venues offering everything from refined
Plataran Ubud Hotel & Spa Jl. Hanoman Pengosekan, Ubud Bali â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Indonesia Phone. +62 361 978 340 www.plataran.com/ubud
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September 21 – October 20
Libras are charming, unpredictable and highly intelligent. Whatever Libras do, they seek balance in every occasion. Being ruled by Venus, Libras want a peaceful, laid-back vacation with the perfect partner.
Text by Dennis Latif | Photos by Philip Kwok
ibras are charming, unpredictable and highly intelligent. They love working in teams and are respectful, but sometimes are filled with indecision and are in search of inner peace. They thirst for knowledge and yearn for a harmonious life. Libra is often associated with relationships and balance. The Zodiac symbol for Libras is the scales – imagine them on one side, and their partners on the other. Whatever Libras do, they seek balance in every occasion. Being ruled by Venus, Libras want a peaceful, laid-back vacation with the perfect partner. In terms of peaceful, laid-back destinations, Bali Pulina Agro Tourism might be the perfect choice for Libras to spend the day and catch the sunset in Ubud. Bali Pulina Agro Tourism was designed to help village tourism development and create jobs for the local community, and to help farmers sell their coffee. Visitors to Bali Pulina can see
how coffee is made, including the famous civet coffee (kopi luwak). There is also cocoa, fruits and a variety of herbs. To enhance the experience, guests are able to sample eight different types of coffee and tea, including lemon tea, ginger tea, ginger coffee, ginseng coffee, chocolate coffee, pure cocoa, vanilla coffee and Bali coffee. Guests can also snack on traditional foods like pisang goreng (fried banana), pisang rai (steamed Balinese banana) and keripik nangka (jackfruit chips). Bali Pulina sits on about 1.5 hectares and from the coffee leaf-shaped wood deck, guests can drink in wonderful views of paddy fields, green slopes and valleys, basking in the ultimate Balinese scene, especially at sunset. Bali Pulina Agro Tourism Jl. Br Pujung Kelod, Tegalang, Gianyar Bali – Indonesia
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Dine in Style Text by Dennis Latif | Photo courtesy of Robert Marchetti The Plantation Grill
he symbol of the Libra is the scales, reflecting the true nature of people born under this Zodiac sign, who carefully weigh up their surroundings. Libras tend to have classic taste and love beauty and perfection. Libras will be right at home at Robert Marchetti The Plantation Grill. Located in Seminyak, inside the stylish Double-Six Luxury Hotel, this dining venue is the place to see and be seen. Bali’s hottest seafood and meat grill flaunts luxurious 1920s style with marble finishes, a vaulted double-height ceiling and huge glass windows looking out to the sea. A beautiful spiral staircase invites guests to explore the upper area where the Sling bar resides. This intimate, elegant space reminds me of “The Great Gatsby,” with stylish people having a good time over cocktails, martinis and champagne. The specialty at Robert Marchetti The Plantation Grill is dry-aged, exclusively sourced and imported meat and line-caught sustainable seafood cooked over custom-made coal and wood grills and woodfired ovens. I start my meal with the Ceviche meets Tartare, consisting of raw grouper, wild barramundi and salmon, served with fresh fennel, mint, caviar and garlic and herb butter toast. This is followed by Oysters Florentine “Marchetti Style,” an oyster topped with steamed lemon spinach, Pernod, garlic, parmesan and gruyere cheese white sauce, gratinated in the wood oven.
For the main, I have the Plantation Minute Steak – a thin-cut grain-fed black angus rib eye served with wild green salad, anchovy and garlic lemon butter. The second main course is split whole giant tiger prawns with mint, garlic, chilli, sweet bell pepper aioli, lemon and lime. Both dishes are fantastic, the meat cooked wonderfully and the ingredients super fresh. As a sweet closing, I have a chocolate and coffee-flavoured soufflé, with dark chocolate sauce, pouring cream, chocolate swirl gelato and frozen coffee choc block, followed by Crème whiskey caramel with pistachios, almond and hazelnut crumble, cigar-scented woodroasted Balinese salted peanuts. And for the grand finale, a very unique dessert presentation, “New Old School” Bombe Alaska, which is a raspberry and coconut ice cream with liquid surprise centre, covered in vanilla meringue, flambéed in style in loads of Cointreau. This was a truly remarkable dining experience, from the uber-fabulous interior design to the amazing selections of food and drinks and the fantastic service, making Robert Marchetti The Plantation Grill a must-visit in Bali. Robert Marchetti The Plantation Grill Double Six Luxury Hotel, Seminyak Double Six Beach, No. 66 Seminyak – Bali Phone. +62 361 730 466 www.plantationgrillbali.com Edition 1, 2016
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Exotic Balinese Luxury Being ruled by Venus, Libras want a relaxing holiday with the perfect partner at an exceptional destination. Plataran Canggu Bali Resort & Spa is the perfect spot for a peaceful escape. Text by Melani Semuel | Photos courtesy of Plataran Canggu Bali Resort & Spa
he moment I set foot in Plataran Canggu Bali Resort & Spa, I knew I was in for an unforgettable experience. Set amidst nature, Plataran Canggu Bali exudes the charm of true Indonesian heritage. Our car dropped us off at the reception, which is a 250-year-old traditional joglo house that was transported from its original location in Central Java and reassembled at the resort, providing a blend of Indonesian culture across the islands. The joglo is made of teak and has a unique pagodastyle ceiling design and intricate carvings on the wooden pillars. Plataran Canggu Bali Resort & Spa truly is where the comforts of fine living seamlessly blend with nature and tradition, creating an exotic labyrinth of Balinese luxury, with enchanted gardens and 20 traditional-style villas.
As we were escorted to our villa, we could not stop taking pictures of this wonderful resort. They really pays attention to the details, from the beautiful vintage items around the resort down to the old doors on each villa. Plataran Canggu Bali is far from the madding crowd, comfortably tucked next to a village and lush green paddy fields, with a river flowing alongside the villas. It feels like being in a world all your own. Our villa was pure serenity and during our stay we mastered the art of doing nothing. We simply soaked up the sun while listening to the wind and the birds singing; pure bliss for our ears. Plataran Canggu Bali offers guests a unique and truly relaxing location to enjoy your break from the hustle and bustle of daily life. This is a magical
oasis set amidst lush gardens. With 19 traditional alang‐alang-roofed villas and antique carved doorways, to say this property is unique would be an understatement of great proportions. No noise and no distractions – just personalized, attentive service. One thing I have noticed about Plataran Hotels & Resorts is that their food is really good. That is certainly true at Plataran Canggu Bali. Patio restaurant serves up delicious food, and the restaurant’s unique location offers a wealth of choices for romantic dinners. The terrace leads to a sparkling pool overlooking the river, with waterfalls accompanying a cacophony of birdsong.
Libra is often associated with relationships and balance. And Plataran Canggu Resort & Spa is a destination to enjoy peace and quiet, a retreat from our busy lifestyle, a place simply to relax and smell the roses. Plataran Canggu Resort & Spa Banjar Silayukti North Kuta Jl. Pengubungan, Kabupaten Badung Bali – Indonesia Phone. +62 361 411 388 www.plataran.com/canggu
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October 21 – November 20
Almost everyone agrees that Scorpios are passionate. They are strongwilled and radiate strength. Famously known for their intensity towards life, Scorpios like to discover the raw truth and find meaning in life.
Exploring Underwater Gardens Text by Dennis Latif | Photos courtesy of Reef Seen Divers’ Resort
lmost everyone agrees that Scorpios are passionate. They are strong-willed and radiate strength. When they are good, they are very good; and when they are bad, they are really bad. Scorpios are famously vigorous, emotional and possessive. They are hardworking and perfectionists; they don’t like weakness, either in themselves or in others. They are careful and observant, sizing up the situation before jumping in; that kind of preparation makes them formidable competitors. Famously known for their intensity towards life, Scorpios like to discover the raw truth and find meaning in life. Scorpio is a water sign, and Bali has plenty of water activities for them to experience. Scorpios love to challenge themselves and test their courage. So, exploring underwater gardens is the kind of activity they will savour. Reef Seen Divers’ Resort is located in in northwest Bali, on beautiful Pemuteran Bay, the gateway to the area’s diving and the Menjangan Island Marine Reserve. The Reef Gardeners are a team of young people recruited from various fishing organizations in Pemuteran and trained to maintain and protect the reefs of Pemuteran Bay.
Reef Seen, established in 1991 by Australian Chris Brown, is the pioneer dive operator which discovered, named and began the protection of most of the reefs in the area. Reef Seen is ecofriendly and deeply involved in the community, helping to found Proyek Penyu (turtle hatchery), the Reef Seen Dancers, which is helping to keep the traditional Legong dance alive, and The Reef Gardeners. In conjunction with the Reef Seen Dive centre, they have enhanced several reefs in Pemuteran Bay with underwater sculpture gardens. Taman Pura – the Temple Garden – was created in 2005 and has become part of the coral landscape. An engineering feat with more than 10 large stone statues resting on stone plinths and a four-metre-high Balinese candi bentar gate, it sits at around a depth of 30 metres, suitable for divers with advanced or deep diver training. In 2006, a second stage of the Temple Garden was constructed at a depth of 15 metres to let less experienced divers explore the location. The garden is situated at the base of a rock/coral wall covered in gorgonian fans and must be seen to be believed. Reef Seen Divers’ Resort Desa Pemuteran, Gerokgak, Singaraja Bali – Indonesia Phone. +62 362 93 001 www.reefseenbali.com
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A Teatro Experience Text by Dennis Latif | Photos courtesy of Teatro Gastroteque, Philip Kwok
assionate in everything they do, Scorpios always demand a full-blown experience. When it comes to dining experiences, few restaurants match Teatro Gastroteque. This boutique fine-dining restaurant located in the heart of Seminyak offers a different kind of dining experience. Teatro Gastroteque only offers course menus; there is no à la carte menu. All your dining needs, from starters to dessert, will be taken care of; you just need to pick the right course menu.
Archipelago Menu consists of prawns, octopus, the Jimbaran catch (daily catch), scallops, duck and lamb. There are also menus for vegetarians including Teatro Renaissance Vegetarian and Teatro Tjatur Vegetarian. There are more than eight set course menus to choose from, and a wide selection of wine and champagne to accompany your meal. This fine-dining restaurant offers a sophisticated Asian twist on French cuisine, using high-quality local ingredients to deliver authentic flavours accompanied by bold presentations.
The name Teatro Gastroteque literally means “theatre” and it is on this stage that the culinary team take their passion and love of gastronomy and create dishes worthy of a standing ovation. The Teatro Discovery Menu includes prawns, octopus, foie gras and wagyu, while the Teatro
Teatro Gastroteque Jl. Kayu Aya Blok C No. 1-2, Seminyak Bali – Indonesia Phone. +62 8510 170 0078 www.teatrobali.com
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Romantic Retreat A Scorpio’s ideal vacation is romantic, and not tamely romantic, but hot, steamy romantic. We found just the resort for Scorpios in need of some loving. Text by Dennis Latif | Photos courtesy of Banyan Tree Ungasan Bali
Utter Romance Nestled on the tip of Bali’s southern peninsula and close to the island’s famed Uluwatu Temple, Banyan Tree Ungasan Bali luxury resort offers 72 private villas and suites, all equipped with private pool and Jacuzzi, outdoor terrace, tropical garden, state-of-the-art technology and magnificent views of the ocean or lush green garden. This is the perfect place for couples who crave an intimate time together away from the hectic outside world. Banyan Tree Ungasan Bali offers a variety of luxury accommodation from Pool Villa, Sanctuary Villa to the fantastic 680-square-metre Presidential Villa. The Pool Villa offers distinctive Balinese interior features within the villa, a classic Balinese bale by the 10-metre infinity pool, private jet pool and spacious living, dining, pantry, bath and sleeping quarters across this 403-square-metre villa estate. The Sanctuary Villa presents 315 square metres of well-designed space with manicured gardens, Balinese bale with daybed, two opulent bedrooms and spacious living, dining, pantry and sleeping chambers. The wonderful experience is made more sublime with a 12-metre infinity pool and adjoining jet pool, lavish marble bathroom
with large bathtub and spacious double sinks. A pillow selection, incense and oil burner, and stunning views will make your stay a memorable one. There are three view options in the villas – Garden View, Sea View, Ocean View and the mesmerizing Cliff-Edge Ocean View. The gloriously uninterrupted spread of the Indian Ocean laid out in astounding clarity, expansive 25-metre infinity pool, private fitness quarters and multipurpose entertainment and relaxation room breathe regal splendour into the luxurious Presidential Villa. Beautifully set out across 680 square metres of villa estate featuring three gorgeous bedrooms with pristine marble bathrooms, this villa is made complete with Balinese bale and daybed, a personal spa treatment room and spacious living, dining and kitchen quarters, with exclusive butler service and a dining area that comfortably hosts around 10 people.
Charming Dining Experience Painted in an air of sultry Moroccan charm, the bar at Ju-Ma-Na Restaurant is the perfect vantage point for admiring the natural scenery of the Indian Ocean, with cosmopolitan cocktails and aperitifs, shisha and Arabian-influenced snacks and drinks. This cliff-edge restaurant emanates
romantic ambience, ideal for an evening of languor after a bustling day. Bambu Restaurant offers a wonderful dining experience with indoor and outdoor cooking stations and themed buffet nights with dedicated sushi counters, grill station and barbecue pits. The wide array of dining options is complemented with live traditional entertainment and cultural performances. Signature dishes at this restaurant include the Indonesian menu stalwart mie goreng, stirfried noodles topped with egg cooked sunnyside-up and prawn sambal and double-baked chocolate tart served with rum raisin ice cream and vanilla sauce. Within the spacious surrounds of the Banyan Tree Spa, Tamarind Restaurant offers freshly prepared food using locally sourced ingredients. With a light and healthy menu to complement a soothing spa session, this experience is enriched with the unique introduction of a herbal drink menu mixed by the resortâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s resident Jamu Master.
Activities for Two Enjoy exclusive private dining for two with your very own private bale pavilion perched high atop the breathtaking cliffs with the waves of the Indian Ocean breaking impressively below,
accompanied by an extravagant gourmet meal served under the glittering night sky. If you and your loved one want a more relaxing activity, step into a sanctuary for the senses at Banyan Tree Spa and let the skilful spa therapists pamper you with Asian-inspired treatments designed to renew and rejuvenate your mind, body and soul. Banyan Tree Ungasan presents a couples spa package featuring classic therapies inspired by Indonesian traditions, specially tailored for ladies and gentlemen. In this luxurious resort, a lovely, never-ending panorama of the stormily magnificent ocean, the perfection of an unbroken horizon and quietly elegant villa dĂŠcor intertwining island tradition with modern living, are certain to delight Scorpios and their partners. Banyan Tree Ungasan Bali Jl. Melasti, Banjar Kelod, Ungasan Bali â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Indonesia Phone. +62 361 300 7000 www.banyantree.com
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November 21 – December 20
A centaur shooting an arrow is the symbol of Sagittarius. This legendary creature has the power and speed of a horse, and the intellect of a human. Sagittarians demand the full experience in life.
Text by Dennis Latif | Photos courtesy of eOasia
centaur shooting an arrow is the symbol of Sagittarius. This legendary creature has the power and speed of a horse, and the intellect of a human. An arrow ready to fire symbolizes the habit of Sagittarians to target life. Sagittarians have a great curiosity, they are flexible and diplomatic. Their desire for adventure takes them to distant places. Sagittarians are pleasant travel companions as they are adaptable and independent. Sagittarians demand the full experience in life; they want to pack two or three different lives into one lifetime. They are adventurers longing for experiences that excite their souls and give life meaning and depth. Sagittarians want to be reminded that they are living a full, delicious life. That is why this is the perfect activity for Sagittarians. In Bali, north of Payangan, is a hidden canyon through which a crystal-clear stream flows. It is one of the few forgotten places in Bali, where you still can find untouched nature.
And it is a place where you can experience tremendous adventure floating down the canyon in an inflatable tube. After arriving at the starting point, professional guides will give you detailed safety instructions for canyon tubing and the flying fox. From there, a special off-road car will transport you to the canyon, and after a short descent your great adventure begins! At some places, the Siap River makes it too difficult to stay in your tube. That is where the flying fox will let you fly across the canyon. For those who find flying too exciting there are wooden footpaths to use. Whether you come with family or friends, everybody will enjoy this adventure, tubing down the Siap River, flying across the canyon on a flying fox and having fun. This is the perfect activity for Sagittarians. Canyon Tubing and The Flying Fox eOasia Phone. +65 6850 5065 www.eoasia.com
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Remarkable Dining Experience Text by Dennis Latif | Photos courtesy of The Mulia, Mulia Resort & Villas – Nusa Dua, Bali
agittarians love to try new things and always want to move forward to the next chapter in their lives. This includes gaining new experiences, making new friends and creating new stories. As people who demand the full experience of life, Sagittarians seek dining experiences that offer them a wide variety of flavours and experiences, all in one location. One of the best places for just such an experience is Soleil at The Mulia, Mulia Resort & Villas. Located in the prime tourist area of Nusa Dua, Bali, this beautifully furnished signature beachfront restaurant, with tables inside and outside of the restaurant, overlooking the sea, has quickly gained a reputation among locals and international guests. Soleil offers exquisitely prepared Mediterranean and Pan-Asian dishes of Italian, Indonesian, Thai and Vietnamese delights. The Sunday brunch buffet features a fantastic selection of premium meat, grilled seafood and an all-inclusive à la carte menu, as well as daily Chef’s selections.
Sagittarians will be pleased with so much variety in one place. On the weekend they can also take part in Soleil’s Weekend Dinner, a moveable feast of culinary treasures enhanced with a free flowing selection of wines and cocktails, crowned by the delectable and expansive dessert buffet featuring a towering fountain of cascading chocolate as well as an amazing variety of sweets and confections, offering you the ultimate dining experience in this tropical paradise. Soleil The Mulia, Mulia Resort & Villas – Nusa Dua, Bali Jl. Raya Nusa Dua Selatan Bali – Indonesia Phone. +62 361 301 7777 www.themulia.com/soleil-nusa-dua
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In Touch with Nature When Sagittarians travel they want to experience all the delicious richness of life. They love holidays, but it must be a holiday with a purpose. At Sandat Glamping Tents, Sagittarians will be spoilt with five-star service and meaningful, naturebased activities. Text by Dennis Latif | Photos courtesy of Sandat Glamping Tents
Glamorous Camping Sandat Glamping Tents sets a new benchmark for luxury resorts in Bali; glamping means glamorous camping, after all. Glamping itself is an expression of the new Green Philosophy that is spreading all over the world; this is the place where you can have direct and deep contact with nature combined with high-level services. Glamping creates an atmosphere that lets you experience life without the TVs or phones that absorb our attention, and discover the inner peace that only direct contact with nature can generate. Charming lodges, tree houses, tents at the edge of woods and streams, igloos, picturesque gypsy caravans hidden amongst the trees; these are the
new and increasingly refined environmentally friendly accommodations that fulfil the need for deep contact with nature, but without giving up comfort.
Eco-friendly Accommodations It is said that the future of hospitality is eco-friendly accommodations that are also glamorous. There are eight types of accommodation to choose from at this luxury resort, including Lumbung Legong, Lumbung Kecak, Lumbung Barong, Suite Tenda Penjor Brown, Suite Tenda Ylang-Ylang Blu Oltremare, Tenda Banten White, Tenda Ogoh Ogoh Orange and Tenda Sarong Water Marine.
The lumbung are typical structures that were once used as warehouses for rice; the 3 lumbung buildings are located overlooking the pool and each has a unique theme. In the Lumbung Legong, the skill of local artisans finds its highest expression: hand-carved wooden furniture and handcrafted iron for the couch, table, chairs and mirror; the attention to detail makes the atmosphere really special. Tenda means tent and Suite Tenda Ylang-Ylang Blu Oltrematre offers a luxurious safari-style tent accommodation with a breathtaking view over the forest. Equipped with an unusual round canopy double bed, this suite is elegantly decorated with white leather chairs, old tools for the processing of rice and petrified logs for the bedside and luxurious bathroom. This is a one-ofa-kind experience suitable for those who want to enjoy great views while comfortably lying in bed. Orange is the colour of the sun that shines on this Island of the Gods; it is also the colour of Tenda Ogoh Ogoh Orange. This safari tent is characterized by furnishings strictly in fine natural bamboo, with unusually shaped cabinets, a canopy bed specifically designed for the tent, a rich pearl chandelier, small hand-painted
benches and chairs with coloured rattan, creating an atmosphere that is casual and welcoming. This is the perfect accommodation for those who love bright colours and a joyous ambience, which this tent emanates with its bohemian touches.
Green Philosophy There is an interesting philosophy behind the glamping hospitality movement. Depleted energy resources, rising emissions and growing waste have led to more attention to environmental issues. Clean water and fresh air, forests and green meadows are becoming a rarity. For this reason, all these elements are becoming more precious and valuable every day. The need to get in touch with nature is becoming the decisive factor for the Third Millennium traveller, who is escaping from urban centres and is eager to embark on journeys rich in experience and authenticity but also with 5-star services. This is the perfect holiday experience for Sagittarians. Sandat Glamping Tents Jl. Subak Sala, Ubud Bali â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Indonesia Phone. +62 821 4408 1998 www.glampingsandat.com
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December 21 – January 20
Capricorns might look calm on the outside, but their minds are always churning. Capricorns love to engage in lots of activities because they like to learn new things.
Old Man’s Canggu Market Text by Dennis Latif | Photos by Philip Kwok
apricorns are often described as serious, ambitious, neat and brimming with plans, practical but sometimes less than flexible. They are hard-working, humorous, patient and steadfast, but they tend to get pessimistic at times. Capricorns set themselves lofty goals and are very responsible. Though they might look calm on the outside, their minds are always churning. Capricorns love to engage in lots of activities because they like to learn new things. Capricorns love to mix travelling with business; not surprising since Capricorns are practical and business-minded. On the Island of the Gods, where the main attractions are leisure and relaxation, you can find Capricorns sitting on the beach, gazing out at the vast sea, thinking about all the work they have to do when they get back. Or you can find them at Old Man’s Café, located next to Batu Bolong Beach in Canggu, where there is a market the last Saturday of every month, soaking up the energy and vibrant
atmosphere. What can you find here? There is lots of interesting stuff, from shoes, clothing, including swimwear, jewellery and accessories from local designers to snacks and drinks. I had a fresh fruit popsicle with real slices of frozen kiwi inside and it was like heaven on the hot day. Then I tried some of the locally made wine, with original flavours such as strawberry and snake fruit. On the other corner was a couple from Europe selling handmade natural stone jewellery, and there was organic homemade jam, skincare products, plush toys, ceramic plates and much more. The Canggu weekend market at Old Man’s is a showcase for the many talented individuals, locals and expats, selling their handmade products. Capricorns will love the energy here. Canggu Market Old Man’s Café Batu Bolong Beach Bali – Indonesia Phone. +62 361 846 9158
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Step Into the Parlour Text by Dennis Latif | Photos by Philip Kwok
ven on holiday, Capricorns are on the lookout for inspiring places that can give them a different view on life. Capricorns are great thinkers, especially when it comes to business. For a truly unique perspective, Capricorns should head to the Parlour Kitchen, Bar & Lounge, which is bistro by day and casual dining restaurant by night. The venue is divided into three sections – the main area, which is more fine-dining style, the lounge and a bar area. Each area boasts a unique design and style, setting it apart from the other areas. The main area has a classic French feel and is dominated by browns and whites. The bar area, which is located outside, is dominated by blues and greys, highlighting the more natural, relaxed feel. In the lounge area, the atmosphere is fun and casual, with a series of brightly coloured sofas, creating a warm and comfortable feel.
The Parlour Kitchen, Bar & Lounge serves a wide range of dishes, from eggs Benedict to Chinesestyle noodles. The in-house bakery offers freshly made cakes and chocolate bites perfect for casual coffee meetings. The bar and lounge areas offer an array of drinks, from signature cocktails to a gentlemen’s cocktail list and an impressive selection of premium spirits. The Parlour Kitchen, Bar & Lounge promises to set a new standard for dining in Bali. The Parlour Kitchen, Bar & Lounge Jl. Petitenget No. 15xx, Kuta Utara Bali – Indonesia Phone. +62 361 473 4654 www.theparlourbali.com
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Born to Travel Let’s talk about Capricorns. People born under this zodiac sign love to travel, but at the same time they want to stay in touch with family, friends and business. So, what do you do when you want to get away but still stay in touch? You go here. Text by Priscilla Picauly | Photos courtesy of Sheraton Bali Kuta Resort
Spectacular Design When Capricorns go on holiday, they are happiest when they can get away but stay connected with friends and relatives. That is exactly what is on offer at Sheraton Bali Kuta Resort. Sheraton Bali Kuta Resort, a new beachfront resort that opened last December, is pleased to unveil the details of its contemporary Balineseinspired design. The new resort, which has already transformed the Kuta experience, sits on 5.2 hectares of development and is located directly in the heart of Kuta Beach, one of the world’s most renowned surfing destinations. The resort offers an exclusive retreat, featuring spacious open-air terraces, lush gardens of local flowers, and an outdoor rooftop pool with unrivalled panoramic
views of the ocean. Showcasing architecture by the distinguished firm Enviro Tec and interior design by A2j, Sheraton Bali Kuta Resort is destined to become an architectural landmark while setting new standards for approachable luxury and extraordinary service in Bali.
Link@Sheraton Good news for Capricorns who need to stay in touch even during their holiday, Sheraton Bali Kuta Resort offers a reliable connection with Microsoft. Link@Sheraton is Sheraton’s signature facility at Sheraton Bali Kuta Resort, which features a connectivity hub with free wi-fi, PC workstations and complimentary printing. Located at the lobby lounge, Link@Sheraton at Sheraton Bali Kuta Resort offers a different ambience from your
ordinary business centre, while offering more sophisticated business facilities. It is open 24 hours a day with free PC use including internet access, making this Bali hotel the perfect place to stay in touch and take care of business.
Sunday Brunch Have a memorable Sunday brunch with Market Brunch. Open each Sunday from noon to 3pm, Market Brunch features a variety of live cooking stations and buffets emphasizing tapas and small bites so guests can sample and savour a wide variety of Asian favourites, including dishes from Bali and beyond. The menu changes each week based on the seasonal availability of local ingredients. Typical offerings include fresh artisanal cheeses and sliced meats, hand-picked fruits and vegetables, fresh-made sushi using locally caught fish, Japanese teppanyaki, Middle Eastern treats and delicacies, seafood barbeque with the day’s catch, as well as more traditional
brunch fare like eggs made-to-order and fresh pastries. Sweet treats include gelato, freshly made breads and pies, and Bali’s own fantastic Pod chocolate. Enjoy this remarkable dining experience all at a reasonable price, enjoying a dizzying selection of foods and drinks including Illy’s fresh and iced coffees, Dilmah tea, fresh-squeezed juices and more. A selection of locally crafted beers, fine wines and signature cocktails is also available, not to mention the free-flow Duval-Leroy Brut Champagne and wines from Starwood Wines of the World selection. After all, Capricorns always love a good deal. Sheraton Bali Kuta Resort Jl. Pantai Kuta Bali – Indonesia Phone. +62 361 846 5555 www.sheratonbalikuta.com
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January 21 – February 20
Aquarians are progressive, innovative and full of ideas. When it comes to travel, Aquarians like to go places they’ve never been before. They crave eccentric destinations and unique sights and experiences.
House of Mask & Puppets
Text and Photos by Dennis Latif
quarians are progressive, innovative and full of ideas. They tend to be individualistic and can have trouble with crowds. Aquarians are eccentric and confident, but can be stubborn. They do not like customs and rules. They tend to follow their hearts and are kind by nature, preferring to hurt themselves before they hurt someone else. Aquarians need solitude and can seem like outsiders. It takes time before an Aquarius feels comfortable enough to open up to someone and trust them. When it comes to travel, Aquarians like to go places they’ve never been before. They crave eccentric destinations and unique sights and experiences. That is what makes Setia Darma House of Mask and Puppets in Ubud, Bali the ideal spot for Aquarians to spend the day. Setia Darma consists of about 1,300 masks and more than 5,000 puppets from around the region and world. Located in the Gianyar area, the museum is about a 45-minute drive from Denpasar and five minutes from central Ubud.
Visitors can explore the museum, meet with the manager and learn more about the pieces in the museum’s collection. The museum is divided MAXX-M
into four houses. The first, Rumah Bhoma, features Balinese puppets and masks from local artisans in Bali. Rumah Senori showcases masks from across the country and region, including a Kethek Mengerling mask from Java and an interesting collection of masks from Japan, Africa, Italy and more. In the third house, Joglo Keben, there is a collection of classic puppets from Cirebon, Myanmar, Cambodia and China. In the last house, Joglo Bojonegoro, is a collection of Beber puppet dolls, Betawi puppets and puppets from around the region. One of the highlights is a puppet of US President Barack Obama in the last exhibition space. There is also an open field, a tropical Balinese garden and a beautiful performance stage. Cultural and historical communities from around the world come to Setia Darma to see the collection of masks and puppets or to put on performances. Setia Darma House of Mask and Puppets Kubu Bingin Cultural Village Jl. Tegal Bingin, Sukawati, Gianyar Bali – Indonesia Phone. +62 361 977 404 www.setiadarma.org
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Step into Spain Text by Dennis Latif | Photos by Philip Kwok
quarians love change. This passion for the different can be indulged at La Finca, one of the most unique restaurants in Bali. With its beautiful, airy setting, Spanish theme and cosy, casual feeling, La Finca is like stepping into Spain. Adding to the experience is La Finca’s menu of delicious and wholesome dishes prepared using traditional methods and fresh organic ingredients. The entrance of the restaurant is a large door with a tall white wall covered in climbing plants and flowers, the stylized La Finca signage on top. Inside, the restaurant is divided into outdoor and indoor seating areas, with wooden tables and chairs, full-sized decorative wooden cart wheels, miniature birdhouses hanging from the trees, colourful flowers and decorative ceramic plates. La Finca’s menu offers an interesting selection of dishes. Try the Carne a La Piedra de La Finca,
which is grilled strips of premium Australian ribeye steak served at your table on top of a sizzling hot lava stone, accompanied by selected house seasonings, dipping sauces and fried potatoes. If you are keen for greens, try the Ensalada de Rucula Y Calabaza, a rocket salad tossed with wood-fire roasted pumpkin and red onions, feta, toasted almonds, fried shallots, soy marinated mushrooms and a soy vinaigrette. For beverages, La Finca’s Sangria is deliciously full of fresh fruits, mild brandy, triple sec and rose wine, giving it a fresh taste that is not overpowering. It comes in two sizes, a jug and half pitcher, with second and third drink discount promotions, suitable for those in large groups. La Finca Jl. Subak Sari No. 77, Batu Belig Bali – Indonesia Phone. +62 361 210 5080 www.lafincabali.com Edition 1, 2016
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Unconventional Stay Aquarians love anything that is uncommon and unique. Not that they are picky, they just have standards. They want to be the first to do or try something, as long as it is eccentric and off the wall. Text by Priscilla Picauly | Photos courtesy of Bambu Indah
Eco-lifestyle Boutique Hotel Aquarians want something thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s unconventional. So, MAXX-M has selected Bambu Indah as the place to stay for Aquarians. Bambu Indah transported 11 antique Javanese bridal homes to Bali and began decorating them with the intention of hosting family and close friends who had travelled around the world to visit this ecolifestyle boutique hotel.
Ethnic Houses Each house at Bambu Indah was built over 100 years ago and originates from Java. The houses
were carefully dismantled, relocated to Bambu Indah and lovingly reassembled in their current locations. Each house has a unique name and a story to tell, such as Kuning House, the cheeriest of all the homes because of its yellow exterior and accents, perfect for those who are fun and happy. Staying in Bambu Indah is perfect for those with a classic and vintage soul. The resort is home to beautiful vintage houses with a touch of tradition. Kuno House (Antique House) is over 150 years old and the teakwood has aged to a perfect rich cocoa brown. The other houses are Afrika House,
Biru House, Elora & Orin House, Jawa Lama House, Kolam House, Kuda House, Manis House and Padi House. Bambu Indah has also added two new houses, Pagoda and Sumba House.
Interesting Activities & Experiences Aquarians will be pleased with all the activities and excursions designed to give guests a unique Bambu Indah and authentically Balinese experience, from cooking class and exploring the village to practising yoga. In the cooking class, you will learn about traditional cooking equipment, methods and kitchen staples. You can also explore the simplicity of village living, worship nature and work up a sweat with a guided two-hour morning walk starting from 7am. A private yoga session in beautiful Minang House is available on request. Guests can travel to Bali to visit the John Hardy jewellery factory (Karya Tangan Indah), the Kapal Bambu showroom and join the employees for lunch.
Bambu Indah believes the land should be responsibly cultivated to produce nutritious food. The property’s organic permaculture gardens are home to seasonal Balinese vegetables, herbs and flowers. Bambu Indah’s team of gardeners, led by permaculture experts, turn organic waste into compost and compost into nutritious soil to grow healthy produce that is used in the property’s kitchens and for daily offerings to the gods and goddesses. All guests are welcome to enjoy a nature hike along the river and through rice fields starting from Bambu Indah and through neighbouring villages. Ayung River is an integral part of Bambu Indah. This is the longest river in Bali and runs from the northern mountain ranges to Sanur. It is revered as a holy river and is accessible from the hotel via a downhill path. Bambu Indah Jl. Banjar Baung Bali – Indonesia Phone. +62 361 974 357 www.bambuindah.com
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February 21 – March 20
Pisces is symbolized by two fish swimming in opposite direction, highlighting the sometimes conflicted and fickle nature of the sign. Pisces love anything that stimulates their spiritual or romantic side.
Mesmerizing Balinese Dance Text and Photo by Dennis Latif
and culture. From beautiful traditional paintings to gamelan music and Balinese dance, Ubud is a magnet for tourists in search of a true Balinese cultural experience.
isces is symbolized by two fish swimming in opposite direction, highlighting the sometimes conflicted and fickle nature of the sign. Pisces usually try and avoid making decisions. They are good at hiding the truth and at persuading people. Pisces are happy if others appreciate their work; if they are not being appreciated, they will not bother doing the job properly. Pisces fancy fun and love to play the host. Pisces may look shy, but don’t be fooled; when Pisces feels comfortable with their surroundings, they will not hesitate to grab the spotlight. Pisces are dreamers, artists, visionaries, poets, mystics. Pisces love anything that stimulates their spiritual or romantic side. Taking in a performance of Balinese traditional dance, steeped in spirituality and romance, is the perfect activity for Pisces. Ubud, in Bali, is famous as a centre of art
Three of the most popular dance performances are the Barong, Kecak and Legong. And one of the best places in Bali to see classical Balinese Legong is Balerung, presented by the Tirta Sari Peliatan dance troupe. Tirta Sari is an important cultural centre with a mission to preserve the classical dance and music of Bali. The performance centre is set within a local neighbourhood, a welcome change from other performance venues located in more touristy area. The venue seats about 50 and it is a good idea to book your tickets in advance. The stage is large and looks like the entrance to a palace, with one side dominated by the instruments that will be played during the dance performance. The dancer’s eyes and body movements are truly wonderful; the performance is almost mythical. There are more than six different dances performed during the show. My favourite was the Puspa Mekar dance (Welcome dance), with the six female dancers in complete Balinese outfits and makeup, sprinkling flowers on the audience. Tirta Sari Jl. Peliatan 1, Balerung Stage, Ubud Bali – Indonesia
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Beautiful Sundara Text by Dennis Latif | Photos courtesy of Sundara, Philip Kwok
henever we sit by the ocean and feel the sheer breadth of it and a connection with the mystery of all that exists, we have entered the realm of Pisces. Pisces love to connect with their spiritual side and mysterious elements that can touch their inner selves. Located on the wide curve of Jimbaran Bay, Bali’s most exclusive stretch of sand, Sundara has quickly gained a reputation as one of the best beachfront restaurants in Bali. Meaning ‘’beautiful’’ in Sanskrit, Sundara describes the lush flora, sparkling surf and sunset views of the Island of the Gods. When the sun is up in the clear blue sky, enjoy a lunch of light cuisine while soaking up the salt air and panoramic views. Lounge away the afternoon on an oceanfront table, sun-splashed daybed or table on the open terrace overlooking the infinity pool, just steps above the Jimbaran Bay surf. As
the sun goes down and the fire pits are lit, catch the sunset with one of the Bali’s most avantgarde cocktails. By night, the romantic restaurant buzzes with a cosmopolitan energy as live music accompanies your journey through Asian cuisines, with twists on classic Middle Eastern, Spanish and Australian dishes as well. Enjoy an abundance of vibrant, innovative dishes which can be served as individual portions or for sharing with a companion or group. The five-star service, picturesque setting on the calm ocean and relaxed vibe provide the ideal venue for Pisces to spend the day (or night) while experiencing a memorable culinary journey in Bali. Sundara Four Seasons Resort Bali at Jimbaran Bay Bali – Indonesia Phone. +62 361 708 333 www.sundarabali.com Edition 1, 2016
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Inspiring Padma When Pisces travel they yearn to experience the vastness and mystery of earth. They are drawn to the deep woods, the ocean, mountains, the desert. Padma Resort Ubud combines the green of the woods and mountains, five-star service and a beautiful design and layout, creating an unforgettable experience for body and mind. This is the perfect destination for Pisces. Text by Dennis Latif | Photos courtesy of Padma Resort Ubud
Panoramic Dining Experience
Nestled in the north of Bali’s celebrated cultural centre Ubud, Padma Resort Ubud offers a tranquil and peaceful stay. The spacious semi-outdoor lobby of Padma Resort Ubud, with beautiful murals and ponds, welcomed me, setting the tone for a serene stay. The resort is surrounded by lush bamboo forest and untouched river valleys, with the mountains in the distance, and the air is comfortably cool in the morning and night. Padma Resort Ubud has 149 rooms and suites with generous bedrooms and living areas, providing maximum comfort and flexibility to accommodate a wide variety of travellers, from honeymooners to large families. My room was located on the second floor, with a private balcony overlooking the panoramic river valley, artisan-crafted furnishings, hand-carved wood detailing, state-of-the-art media and spa-inspired en-suite bathrooms.
Breakfast is served at Puhu Restaurant & Lounge, with a choice of set menus, including American breakfast, Japanese breakfast, Indonesian breakfast and Healthy breakfast. The restaurant is located on the top floor overlooking the resort’s expansive infinity swimming pool and gardens, and boasting impressive 180-degree views across the bamboo forest and out to the terraced rice paddies beyond. This spacious al fresco restaurant offers a selection of tantalizing dishes including Indonesian, Asian and European specialties. If you want a more private space, the intimate air-conditioned library is a tranquil setting to indulge in afternoon tea or to socialize over a fine wine from the glass-fronted cellar. The Pool Café & Bar is the perfect place to indulge in a fresh fruit smoothie or signature cocktail with friends and family.
Well-Rounded Facilities Padma Resort Ubud offers an extraordinary jogging experience, the 3.4-kilometre jogging track designed to meander through the resort’s lush tropical gardens and along the crystal-clear waters of the mystical river that flows beneath the resort. This is a perfect pre-breakfast activity at sunrise and ideal for a leisurely walk after lunch. A fully appointed Fitness Centre is available to help you stay on target with your personal fitness regime. Connected to the resort via an enchanting glass-top tunnel, the infinity swimming pool at Padma Resort Ubud offers breathtaking views and the refreshing mountain air of Ubud. The pool measures a remarkable 89 metres long and 7 metres wide, and the water is cool during the day to provide an invigorating oasis on warm afternoons, and is heated when the temperature drops to allow for comfortable morning and evening swims. Pisces will love this. This is also a perfect place to soak up the sun, the stylish pool deck appointed with comfortable sun loungers and umbrellas providing countless hours of relaxation. This family-friendly resort also has an
engaged Kid’s Club offering dynamic activities, engaging toys, separate rooms for watching movies and gaming, and a whimsically designed bunk bed room for naps. An inviting Children’s Swimming Pool is designated exclusively for families. Padma Resort Ubud is perfect for hosting business meetings, with a custom-designed meeting room and ballroom wings designed to accommodate personalized corporate events for up to 80 people. Create the wedding of your dreams with the help of the resort’s professional wedding coordinator to design a custom menu for elegant champagne toasts, glamorous cocktail-style receptions, grand parties or sophisticated wine pairing dinners. The panoramic view across the untouched river valley overlooking the forested canopy of tropical trees provides an unparalleled backdrop for your romantic celebrations. Padma Resort Ubud Banjar Carik, Desa Puhu, Payangan, Ubud Bali – Indonesia Phone. +62 361 301 111 www.padmaresortubud.com
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The Best of Everything Here at MAXX-M, we understand that you demand only the best in your travels. From health and wellness experiences to historical and cultural explorations to culinary journeys, we take you to the best accommodations and most inspiring destinations. Photo courtesy of Hyatt Regency Yogyakarta
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Best Outdoor Activities
Merapi Lava Tour Calling all adventurers! Pack your bags and embrace your adventurous side at majestic and mystical Mount Merapi, one of the most active volcanoes in Indonesia. Text and Photos by Priscilla Picauly
Short Story About Merapi Just before the New Year, I had the opportunity to visit Mount Merapi, not to hike the mountain but to explore it by Jeep. “Merapi” comes from the Javanese words “meru,” which means mountain, and “api,” meaning fire. Mount Merapi, straddling the border between Central Java and Yogyakarta, is one of the most active volcanoes in Indonesia. It contains an active lava dome that regularly produces pyroclastic flows. For the record, this mountain has been active for 10,000 years and remains one of the most dangerous volcanoes in Indonesia and the world. A massive eruption in October 2010 sowed ruin around the mountain, bringing death and destruction to villages clinging to the slopes of
Merapi, including the villages of Kaliadem and Kinahrejo. Hundreds of people died, including Mbah Maridjan, the spiritual gatekeeper of Mount Merapi. In spite of the tragic stories of those who lost family, homes and plantations, God has bigger plans. Thanks to Merapi, people in the area are blessed with rich soil that allows them to sustain themselves and their families.
A Fun Tour When Merapi is not rumbling and spitting out ash and rocks, it is the perfect time to explore the mountain. Visitors can trek its tree-covered slopes. There is an observation post on Plawangan hill, which can be reached through the forest resort of Kaliurang and that offers stunning views of molten rock oozing over the rim of the volcano.
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You can also get your adrenaline going by taking a Merapi Lava Tour by Jeep and other off-road vehicles. There are several operators providing lava tours and you can show up at Merapi and book a tour, though there might be a wait. Or you can call ahead and make a reservation.
Museum, Bunker and Alien Rocks I took my tour accompanied by Mas Wahyu, our driver and guide. We began with a visit to Museum Sisa Hartaku, which is a ruined house that contains the remnants of furniture and other vestiges of daily life destroyed by Merapi. Soft ash was spread thick through the house, covering everything. Our next destination was the Bunker, about a 20-minute drive from the museum. This
was supposedly a safe place to hide during an explosion, but in 2006, a rescue team found two men dead inside the bunker. It is now part of the lava tours. Visitors are allowed to go inside, though there is nothing but an empty room and the opportunity to contemplate the fragility of life and the unpredictability of nature. Done with the short contemplation, we headed to Batu Alien or Alien Rock. After one eruption, locals claimed to see a human face on one side of this huge rock. You need to look close but you can make out a shape, though it is a bit strange, which is how it got the name alien. Alien Rock is also said to have magical powers. Finally, near Kaliurang, is Museum Gunung Merapi, where visitors can learn more about Merapi and its history.
How to get to Kaliadem?
Kaliadem is 35 kilometres from Yogyakarta and just an hourâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ride by car. There is no public transportation but you can rent a car in Yogyakarta.
Same route as the Short Tour, plus the Gendol River.
About the Tour There are several Merapi Lava Tours, with packages starting at Rp 300,000 (about US$20). One Jeep can carry up to four passengers.
*Short Tour Tlogo Putri Kaliurang, Museum Gunung Merapi, Kali Opa, Dusun Petung, Batu Alien, Museum Sisa Hartaku, Bunker Kaliadem (Kaliadem Bunker), Kaliurang
*Long Tour Same route as the Medium Tour but includes Mbah Maridjanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s grave, Massal cemetery and the Glagahsari Hills.
*Sunrise Tour Start your journey early in the morning (around 4am). This guided tour will allow you to take in the sunrise from the slopes of Merapi before continuing your journey to Museum Sisa Hartaku, Batu Alien Kaliadem Bunker.
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Best Culinary Destination
Culinary Destination Solo They say Solo is Yogyakarta’s twin city. And while they do share a similar culture and royal Javanese flair, Solo absolutely has a unique flavour, especially in the culinary realm. Text and Photos by Priscilla Picauly
Tengkleng Bu Edi Tengkleng used to be a common dish for people who couldn’t afford goat meat. Tengkleng is made from the bones of goats. But these days, tengkleng has gained a new prominence as one of the signature dishes of Solo. Tengkleng is common in Solo, but there’s one food stall that is particularly famous for its tengkleng, Tengkleng Bu Edi, near the north gate of Pasar Klewer (Klewer Market). This is a simple stall but it draws long lines every day. There aren’t a lot of seating options here, which is why most people choose to take away their food. But enjoying this traditional food in the hustle and bustle of Pasar Klewer is sure to be an exciting experience. Tengkleng Bu Edi is open daily from 2pm.
Soto Triwindu If you visit Solo, you have to get to know the Soto Triwindu stall. This soto stall was established in 1939 and was originally located in a small alley in Pasar Triwindu (Triwindu Market). After revitalization, the stall was moved to a new location on Jalan Teuku Umar, not far from Triwindu Market. Soto Triwindu is a simplelooking stall but the soto it serves is simply divine. A bowl of soto consists of beef and sprouts doused with a sauce that is quiet clear. Side dishes include satay quail eggs and various fried foods (gorengan).
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Other Traditional Dishes On Jalan Gading, near the town square (alunalun), Soto Gading serves up about the most popular soto ayam in Solo. Soto Gading serves its soups with a clear light sauce, with side dishes that include satay, tempeh, tofu and sausages. Soto Gading offers traditional-style seating with wood tables and chairs. Soto Gading has four branches.
Gudeg Ceker Margoyudan is a beloved part of Soloâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s culinary scene. Every night, Ibu Kasno is ready to serve the lines of customers waiting for the famous gudeg, made from unripe jackfruit, palm sugar and coconut milk. Timlo Sastro is famous for its timlo soup. This stall is located near Pasar Gede (Gede Market), at Jalan Pasar Gede No. 1-2. Timlo Sastro contains chicken, gizzard, fried sausage satay and boiled egg.
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Best Health & Wellness Experience
A Balanced Retreat MesaStila, previously known as Losari Spa Retreat & Coffee Plantation, offers a beautiful natural setting with 22 hectares of stunning Central Java landscape and cool, fresh air, and is just 45 minutes from the sacred Borobudur Temple. Text by Priscilla Picauly | Photos courtesy of MesaStila Resort and Spa
ocated in the majestic city of Magelang, MesaStila is a place to escape the routine, relax and balance your body and soul. The evolution of the retreat at MesaStila is based on the integration of numerous cultural activities and experiences, combined with a pledge to focus on traditional, local experiences that bring out the magnificence of the environment, the people and the true essence of Java.
The winner of the coveted 2012 Asia Spa Awards Holistic Treatment of the Year, MesaStila features couples treatments to balance body and soul. The signature treatment is the Turkish-style Hammam Spa, the only one of its kind in Asia. There are four couple’s treatment rooms, a beauty salon and separate male and female Hammam areas, each consisting of warm and cool rooms, a cold plunge pool and a steam room.
To create a healthy lifestyle during your stay at MesaStila, the retreat encourages guests to relax while reducing unhealthy habits. For example, smoking is permitted only in specific public areas of the retreat and on the balcony or veranda of guest villas. To preserve a peaceful environment, the use of mobile phones is not allowed within the spa, swimming pool and Java Green restaurant areas. The discrete use of SMS and tablets is permitted throughout the retreat, while laptops may be used only in specific areas.
Spa treatments include the Jade and Tuina facials, Tibetan singing bowl rituals, and body treatments inspired by classic and contemporary healing rituals from Asia and the Near East. The signature service includes the enlightening Turkish Hammam experience, a combination of steam therapy, gommage, a soapy cleanse, massage and hair wash, followed by a restorative Javanese traditional massage. In addition to spa services, daily sunrise yoga at the Sasana Yoga Pavilion is available for all levels. Fitness and adventure enthusiasts can enjoy the fitness centre, a jungle-gym, TRX, aqua-fit, power walks, more intensive jungle and mountain treks, as well as an abundance of trail running, road cycling and mountain biking. The traditional martial art of pencak silat is taught by a highly regarded local instructor.
Wine and beer are available at the Plantation Lounge and in the restaurants while non-alcoholic beverages include an array of fresh juices, coffee, tea and water. For cuisine, MesaStila offers Javanese flavours using local and organic produce. Close parental guidance and support is requested in a retreat where children of all ages are welcome. Guests participating in the wellness retreat must complete and submit “pre-arrival forms” upon confirmation of booking, and guests are urged to follow the instructions of the retreat. MesaStila Resort and Spa Desa Losari, Grabag Magelang – Indonesia Phone. +62 298 596 333 www.mesahotelsandresorts.com Edition 1, 2016
Best Historical Journey
City of History Semarang, the capital of Central Java, is a historically important city that has hosted some of the most momentous events in Indonesia’s history. Text and Photos by Priscilla Picauly
friend of mine was sceptical when I told her I was going to visit Semarang for a holiday. “What are you going to do?” she asked. Plenty, I said. Few people thought Semarang would be a fun place to spend a few days of vacation. As a history lover, I picked Semarang because the city played such an important role in Indonesian history.
A Thousand Doors Lawang Sewu is one of the most important landmarks in Semarang and one of the must-visit sites. And thanks to a massive revitalization by the local government, Lawang Sewu looks great. The name Lawang Sewu is taken from Javanese and means a thousand doors. Lawang Sewu was built around 1904 and was completed in 1919. It was the headquarters of the Dutch East Indies Railway Company during the colonial era. After Japan invaded Indonesia in 1942, the Japanese army took over Lawang Sewu. In October 1945, the Indonesian army took over the building and the complex was returned to the national railway company. In 1992, Lawang Sewu was declared a cultural property of Indonesia.
To explore Lawang Sewu, visitors must be accompanied by a local guide. During a 30 to 50-minute tour, your tour guide will take you to several rooms inside Lawang Sewu. The complex comprises several buildings and two main areas, named A and B, along with two smaller areas, C and D. Visitors are not allowed to enter Building A, but they can explore the museum that traces the history of the property. Next, enter Building B, where visitors will find a corridor that extends to the rear like a railway carriage. Upstairs is the rooftop area, which is said to be haunted. After taking photos, and looking for spirits, my guide offered to take me to the basement. This is part of the tour but not all visitors dare to enter the basement, which was used as a prison during the Japanese regime. Before going downstairs, all visitors must buy an additional entry ticket and rent boots because the basement is kept partially flooded to help cool the building through evaporation. In the basement, visitors can see remnants of the prison, including the execution chamber.
They Call it Blenduk The official name is Immanuel Protestant Church of Western Indonesia, but it is better known as Blenduk Church. Having been established in 1753, Blenduk is the oldest church in the province and was originally used by both Protestants and Catholics. In the Javanese language, mblenduk means dome. Blenduk Church has an iconic dome that is supported by 32 steel beams, with two towers located on either side of the main entrance. Situated at 32 Letjen Suprato Street, in Old Town, Blenduk Church features spectacular architecture, a huge cupola, magnificent baroque-style organ and a unique wooden pulpit. For the record, this octagonal church was built on a stone foundation and with single-layer brick walls. Blenduk also has rattan seats that are used for Sunday services. If visitors want to take a look inside the church, they should ask the caretaker to let them in.
Cheng Ho Was Here! The oldest Chinese temple in town is Sam Poo Kong, which is sometimes called Gedung Batu Temple. Sam Poo Kong was established by the Chinese Muslim explorer Zheng He (Cheng Ho), who arrived in Semarang between 1400 and 1416. Zheng found a cave in a rocky hillside and used it for prayers. Before leaving Java, he built a small temple that was reportedly destroyed in 1704, collapsing in a landslide, and a new temple was built near the old one.
It is possible to see not one, not two, but five temples inside the complex, all built using a mix of Chinese and Javanese architectural styles. There is Sam Poo Kong, Tho Tee Kong, Kyai Juru Mudi Temple, Kyai Jangkar Temple and Kyai Cundrik Bumi Temple.
Old Town Kota Lama Semarang used to be a centre of trade in the 19th and 20th centuries. Also called Outstad, the area is about 31 hectares in size. There are about 50 buildings still standing that date back to the colonial era. The buildings have a similar style to those built in Europe in the 1700s and feature some of the same ornamental and decorative features, such as large windows and stained glass. This is a great area to explore on foot and perfect for photography enthusiasts.
Other destinations: Kay Tak Kie Temple One of the oldest temples in town, Kay Tak Kie was established around 1746. It is located at Jalan Gang Lombok No. 62, in the Pecinan area. Tawang Train Station Construction ended on 16 June 1864 and it has changed little over the years. Gereformeerd Church Established on 27 October 1918, this church can accommodate up to 400 people. Edition 1, 2016
Heart of Jakarta Welcoming guests since the 1990s, Grand Hyatt Jakarta is ideally located and features incredible panoramic views of the city. Offering a dynamic lifestyle for business and leisure travellers alike, the hotel is conveniently located in the heart of Jakarta in an integrated complex of luxurious residential and office towers, adjacent to the Plaza Indonesia shopping centre. Text by Priscilla Picauly | Photos courtesy of Grand Hyatt Jakarta
The Residence ONFIVE
Grand Hyatt Jakarta’s perfect location sets it apart from the city’s other luxury hotels. Situated in the centre of Jakarta, with a view of the city’s most famous landmark, the Welcome Monument, Grand Hyatt Jakarta has 427 guestrooms, including 35 suites, featuring every modern convenience required for a comfortable stay, including generous work desks, luxurious beds and elegant bathrooms.
In November 2015, Grand Hyatt Jakarta relaunched ONFIVE as The Residence ONFIVE. After a complete renovation, the most prestigious address in Jakarta is now perfectly equipped to offer the highest standards of hospitality. Located on the 5th floor, overlooking a lagoonshaped swimming pool and Balinese gardens, The Residence ONFIVE is a residential-style multifunctional event facility featuring four modern meeting rooms with natural daylight; a communal area with a show kitchen, where coffee breaks and meals can be freshly prepared; a living room; two multipurpose cabanas; and four terraces with beautiful panoramic views of Jakarta — especially at sunset.
The hotel’s several suites will spoil guests with exclusive and luxurious touches. The Presidential Suite offers 315 sq m (3,391 sq ft) of space, a glass-enclosed terrace, living and dining areas, a study lounge with wired and wireless high-speed Internet access, and marble master bathrooms with walk-in showers and jetted spa tubs. This marvellous suite has two bedrooms — one with a king-size bed and the other with two twin beds — and includes garment-pressing service, use of a boardroom and access to the Grand Club Lounge, which serves continental breakfast, evening cocktails and canapés. The hotel’s Grand Executive suites offer 170 sq m (1,830 sq ft) of space with contemporary décor and Indonesian accents. Each suite features a king-size bedroom, living and dining areas, a writing desk with high-speed Internet connectivity, and access to the Grand Club Lounge. The Premier suites are 100 sq m (1,076 sq ft) suites with kitchenettes that are perfect for long-stay guests. The hotel also has Grand suites with premier views, contemporary décor and Indonesian accents.
The Residence ONFIVE provides more than 1,000 sq m (10,764 sq ft) of flexible event space and can host up to 800 guests for cocktails. Each meeting room can accommodate up to 30 guests with classroom-style setups. Its two multipurpose cabanas are perfect for intimate occasions such as private family gatherings, VIP dinners and discreet meetings, or even as private rooms for a bride and groom on their wedding day. Elevated terraces are one of The Residence ONFIVE’s distinctive features, providing creative outdoor spaces with endless possibilities: casual morning meetings, indulgent evenings or lavish cocktail parties under the stars. A dedicated event planning team and service specialists are always on hand to meet any event requirements.
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Best Hotels & Resorts
Dine at Great Restaurants Grand Hyatt Jakarta offers some of the best restaurants in the city. Grand Café is a casual allday dining restaurant on the Lobby level offering a wide range of healthy dishes, from Indonesian and Asian cuisine to American breakfasts. On weekends, Grand Café hosts a special brunch that is perfect for family dining, complete with a kids’ corner and live music. C’s Steak and Seafood Restaurant is sophisticated yet relaxing, offering the finest selection of Japanese, Australian and US prime beef, plus a variety of seafood. C’s has eight fish tanks that ensure only the freshest seafood is served. Located on the 4th floor, C’s also has a walkin wine cellar with 3,000 bottles and a special Sunday brunch featuring a sumptuous selection of steak and seafood and sweet treats.
Seafood Terrace, located on the 5th floor, features a Balinese garden environment with poolside views. In addition to fresh seafood and authentic Indonesian cuisine, its menu features salads, pastas, sandwiches, pizzas and homemade ice creams. Sumire is the hotel’s Japanese restaurant, offering premium-grade sushi and sashimi and other Japanese favourites. The restaurant features four private tatami rooms and four private dining rooms. Overlooking the stunning atrium lobby and magnificent views of the city, burgundy is the perfect place to unwind over coffee, an ideal place for after work rendezvous or post-dinner drink with friends.
Designed as the “jewel” of the hotel, Fountain Lounge over the years has been the favourite spot amongst hotel guests and top socialites in Jakarta. Its menu offers a unique selection of cocktails and an elaborate assortment of teas, coffees and tempting desserts. The lounge also offers delicious selections of afternoon tea throughout the year.
Meetings & Events In addition to being the perfect venue for relaxing stays, Grand Hyatt Jakarta is also one of the city’s best options for meetings and events. The hotel has excellent facilities and services for any occasion, including small and intimate meetings, large-scale corporate gatherings, and lavish wedding celebrations. The hotel’s professional
Meetings & Events team is dedicated to planning perfect events with unparalleled flexibility, extraordinary hospitality and uncompromising service. The luxury hotel features a Grand Ballroom and seven function rooms conveniently located next to each other on the 2nd floor. In addition, the Business Centre features five meeting rooms set on the same floor. For those seeking a more intimate venue, the two penthouse suites with glassed-in terraces on the 26th floor offer a lovely alternative. Grand Hyatt Jakarta Jl. M. H. Thamrin Kav. 28-30 Jakarta – Indonesia Phone. +62 21 2992 1234 Jakarta.grand.hyatt.com
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Not Just a Hotel I left my heart in Yogyakarta. The sound of gamelan, the warm greetings by the locals, and the wonderful culture and heritage make me want to visit Yogyakarta over and over. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a city that you will miss the moment you leave. And to make the most of your visit to Yogyakarta, you have to pick the right place to stay. Text by Priscilla Picauly | Photos courtesy of Hyatt Regency Yogyakarta
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Best Hotels & Resorts
ituated on the scenic outskirts of northwestern Yogyakarta, the cultural heart of Java, Hyatt Regency Yogyakarta is a five-star hotel that blends the exoticism of Javanese culture with majestic gardens and stunning views of Java’s sacred Mount Merapi, Mount Seribu and Java’s beautiful landscape. Hyatt Regency Yogyakarta was named one of the best hotels in Indonesia in MAXX-M’s The Best of Everything issue for its five-star services, exquisite facilities and its community involvement, including its work with Dream House, a non-profit social organization that assists street children.
About the Hotel Resting on 22 hectares of land, Hyatt Regency Yogyakarta features 269 rooms and suites in a sprawling seven-storey building with the theme “Legacy of Misty Tropical Village Ruins,” calling to mind the excitement and romance of ancient ruins hidden away in tropical jungle. The architectural theme pays homage to the worldfamous Borobudur Temple. Rooms are spread out over four wings. The north wing contains 51 Regency Club rooms and nine suites (six Junior Suites, two Executive Suites and one Presidential Suite). Garden View rooms are located in the east, west and south wings, with panoramic views of the scenic outskirts of Yogyakarta. Located beneath the lobby, Kemangi Bistro Restaurant features an open kitchen that allows
guests to witness the talented chefs working their magic in the kitchen. Kemangi, which means basil leaf in Indonesian, is home to a wood-fired pizza oven that is said to turn out the best pizza in town! Kemangi Bistro also offers Sunday brunch with an extensive buffet of innovative Indonesian and Western dishes to choose from. For afternoon tea and light snacks, head to Paseban Lounge, located near the lobby with an open-air concept and striking wood dining sets.
Fun Activities Hyatt Regency Yogyakarta is known as a family resort and offers fun activities for guests of all ages. It provides guests with perfect rooms and a selection of enjoyable activities for the perfect stay. Try something different and hop on one of Yogyakarta’s famed traditional horse carts (delman) and take a fun ride through the surrounding villages and rice fields. Guests can enjoy a complimentary ride in a delman every day from 8am to 4pm. For a unique dining experience during your visit, Kemangi Bistro presents Ramayana Night Market every Saturday night for an evening of great food and cultural entertainment. Executive Chef Akbar Septianto and his skilled team present a lavish Indonesian buffet that includes Javanese dishes served at traditional warungstyle stations. Local favourites such as Wedang Ronde, Serabi Manalagi, Selada Djawa, Pecel
cover story Solo and Gudeg Jogja are available, along with a delectable barbeque selection. While guests savour the culinary offerings, a Ramayana ballet performance is presented on the open-air stage by a talented group of artists from the nearby village. Bogey’s Teras is the perfect venue to enjoy your evening. Overlooking the lush golf course, the bar features live music performances by talented and energetic entertainers. College bands take the stage every Wednesday starting at 8pm, your favourite oldies are performed on Thursdays beginning at 6pm, and every Friday and Saturday starting at 9pm feature live performances of the best Top 40 songs.
Need Something Different? Hyatt Regency Yogyakarta is the ideal destination for those in search of the ultimate relaxation. There are also plenty of activities available if you want something a bit more invigorating. Start your day with an energizing jog and enjoy the spectacular views of the resort’s 22-hectare tropical garden and golf course. Just follow the circular track that takes you through the main entrance, past Bogey’s Teras, the poolside garden and the golf course. Other activities at the resort include table tennis, billiards, water polo, futsal, pillow fights, tennis and fishing at the poolside pond.
The resort’s golf course wraps around the sprawling 22-hectare hotel grounds. The ninehole course was designed by Fisette Golf Design and landscaped by Tongg, Clark & McCelvey, both from Hawaii. The par 30 golf course features the most challenging greens in town with six par-3 holes and three par-4 holes and plays to 1835 metres. Each hole has three tee-off areas to accommodate professional, men and lady golfers. The hotel has local instructors with various levels of expertise who can provide personalised lessons for local playing guests and members. It also provides full sets of golf clubs and per piece rentals, left-handed club sets and per piece rentals, children’s club full sets, and golf shoes rental. For the active, there are two floodlit tennis courts; a multi-level saltwater swimming pool complete with 70-metre water slides; waterfalls; whirlpool and a children’s pool. The health club features relaxing and pampering services such as sauna and massage therapies for detoxification and rejuvenation. Other facilities included a comprehensive spa and Jacuzzi. Hyatt Regency Yogyakarta Jl. Palagan Tentara Pelajar Yogyakarta – Indonesia Phone. +62 274 869 123 yogyakarta.regency.hyatt.com
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A New Urban Oasis Nestled in southern Jakarta, Sheraton Grand Jakarta Gandaria City Hotel offers a new level of urban hospitality in the heart of the city. A restful night and well-rounded experience await you at this urban oasis. Text by Dennis Latif | Photos courtesy of Sheraton Grand Jakarta Gandaria City
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Best Hotels & Resorts
Sweet Sleep Experience Standing amongst the skyscrapers of Jakarta, Sheraton Grand Jakarta Gandaria City Hotel is a beacon for business travellers and tourists. This is no surprise since the hotel features Sheraton’s signature accommodations, with 293 contemporary guest rooms and suites, outfitted with the Sheraton brand’s signature amenities and services, including its signature sleep experience. With accommodations ranging from Deluxe & Grand Deluxe Rooms to the expansive Presidential Suite with spacious dining area for 10 guests, whirlpool bathtub and 24-hour butler service, this urban hotel has the perfect accommodation for everyone. Calming neutral colours and minimalist, contemporary décor create an elevated yet comfortable atmosphere. Enjoy your favourite program on the LED TV, equipped with a multi-device connector console, or take care of business at the large worktable with an ergonomic chair and complimentary inroom wifi. The sleek marble bathrooms feature a shower with handheld shower wand, a separate bathtub and jet-spray toilet, along with Shine
for Sheraton bath amenities for a refreshing experience. Rest easy on Sheraton Sweet Sleeper beds with views of South Jakarta’s skyscrapers through the floor-to-ceiling windows. This newly opened hotel also features a state-of-the-art fitness centre, outdoor pool and the ultramodern Sheraton Club Lounge where club-level guests can enjoy complimentary breakfast and all-day refreshments while taking in panoramic views of the urban landscape.
Expertly Matched Dining Sheraton Grand Jakarta Gandaria City Hotel offers a variety of dining options to delight any palate, including Anigre. With its floor-to-ceiling windows, display of contemporary artwork and wicker furniture with copper accents, this all-day dining restaurant welcomes guests with a casual chic environment serving international cuisine as well as local delicacies. A sleek marble-top bar is the perfect spot for cocktails and conversation, making this restaurant suitable for relaxing with friends or family over a meal any time of day. You can also enjoy the Sheraton brand’s reinvigorated
food and beverage programme Paired at the lobby lounge, where guests can enjoy expertly matched small plates, premium wines and local craft beers. This chic lounge is also perfect for a quick breakfast, afternoon tea or cocktails with live music in the evening. Selections of cakes and pastries can also be enjoyed at the Café Grande pastry shop.
In regard to connectivity, Link@Sheraton welcomes guests from the moment they step into the newly expanded lobby. Stay connected with the 24-hour lobby “connection destination,” Link@Sheraton, offering a secure and fun area to work or just hang out. Simply connect on the available terminals or bring your own laptop for complimentary wireless broadband.
With floor-to-ceiling windows with views of South Jakarta and Sheraton Sweet Sleeper Beds for a restful night’s sleep in every room and suite, a wide range of services and state-of-theart facilities, Sheraton Grand Jakarta Gandaria City Hotel is sure to become everyone’s favourite destination in South Jakarta.
As part of the Superblock Gandaria City complex, which includes a retail mall, convention and exhibition facilities, a helipad and several restaurants, Sheraton Grand Jakarta Gandaria City Hotel is ideal to host large meetings and conventions. Featuring 3,567 square metres of versatile function space, this is one of the biggest function spaces in Jakarta. Whether you are planning an elegant six-course banquet, an intimate wedding or a bustling trade show, this hotel surely can accommodate your event. Wireless high-speed internet access is available for all events and the dedicated staff is always on hand to ensure everything runs smoothly.
Sheraton Grand Jakarta Gandaria City Jl. Sultan Iskandar Muda, Kebayoran Jakarta – Indonesia Phone. +62 21 8063 0888 Sheraton.com/jakartagandariacity
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A Taste of France When you think about French cuisine, most people imagine a fine-dining restaurant with all its formalities. It’s completely different at Sophie Authentique in Jakarta. Text and Photos by Priscilla Picauly
heard about Sophie Authentique from a friend who had posted about the restaurant on social media. I was intrigued, especially by the photo. Sophie has four branches, all located in South Jakarta. All of the branches feature wooden feature and are dominated by the colour blue. The concept is natural, natural, and natural! This homey and cosy place is perfect for brunch, spending quality time with friends and family. Sophie’s kitchen serves a selection of tempting French breads and pastries. Croque Madame competes with the Croque Monsieur for the most popular and delicious dish. They are made with toasted sourdough bread, white sauce, French cheese, beef, pork or homemade tomato puree,
baked and then grilled for crispiness, topped with a sunny-side-up egg and served with a side salad and the house vinaigrette. The Canelés also vies for attention. This French speciality from Bordeaux features a caramelized crust and soft vanilla custard inside. This pastry can survive up to eight days in the fridge. Sophie Authentique is a must-try spot, but be warned: Once you visit, you won’t be able to stop coming back. Sophie Authentique Jl. Cipete Raya No. 11 Jakarta – Indonesia Phone. +62 21 7656 3634 www.sophieauthentique.com
Exceptional Olivier Conveniently located on the ground floor of Grand Indonesia shopping mall, the European-themed restaurant Olivier offers an array of fusion dishes with French, Italian and Asian twists perfect for a wholesome lunch, delightful dinner or just a casual coffee. Text and Photos by Dennis Latif
ll you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.” This quote from Charles M. Schulz flitted through my mind as I was looking over the pastry display at Olivier. I was on my way to my table but I couldn’t resist the sight of the cakes and pastries, so I ordered a Vienna cake for dessert. The smoking area of the restaurant has a serious masculine atmosphere, with a retro-style design, dark colours, leather couches and wooden chairs, wall-mounted deer head and marble-top bar with tall chairs. The nonsmoking area offers more of a feminine touch. It is semi-al fresco, beautifully decorated with hanging plants and flowers, wicker chairs and wood tables bathed in natural light. The overall atmosphere of the restaurant is sophisticated, elegant and airy. I started my lunch with the deliciously seasoned smoked salmon with crème fraiche, with salt and pepper shortbread as the base and truffle oil as the dressing. I loved the combination of flavours, the salmon was fresh and perfectly cooked, the crème fraiche had a rich taste of cheese and milk, and I loved the hint of truffle oil. For the main course, I had the creamy spaghetti with ham and truffle with four big scallops on top. I loved the
texture of the light cream and the perfect mix of the creamy sauce, ham, truffle and scallops. The Vienna cake is a highlight every time I visit Olivier, with the rich, elegant taste of the chocolate and the soft texture of the cake. As a second dessert, I had Pavlova jackfruit with fresh strawberries on top; the taste was a bit too sweet for me, but if you are keen for a sweet closer, this is the perfect choice. Olivier also has an amazing selection of cocktails, from classics to bolder choices. I had Botanique and Kyoto Spring, and loved them both! Botanique is a gin-based cocktail with white foam and a hint of colourful flower petals on top. The signature of the Kyoto Spring is a round ice cube in the centre of the glass, with a combination of nigorizake, lychee, rose and grapefruit vodka; it is a sweet and refreshing accompaniment to a hot Jakarta day. Olivier Grand Indonesia Shopping Town, Ground Floor Jl. M. H. Thamrin No. 1 Jakarta – Indonesia Phone. +62 2358 1242 www.olivierjkt.com
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Dine and Wine Looking for a place in Bandung where you can dine and wine while being treated to a beautiful view? Look no further than The 18th Restaurant and Lounge. Text by Melani Semuel | Photos courtesy of The Trans Luxury Hotel
his is the number one restaurant in Bandung, according to TripAdvisor. Need I say more? If that doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t convince you, how about a combination of beautiful Bandung views and great food?
The best time to visit The 18th Restaurant and Lounge is just before sunset, so you can be mesmerized by the view as the setting sun lights up Bandung in a dazzling array of reds and oranges. One of the highlights of our trip to Bandung was unwinding at the 18th after a busy day of work or shopping, enjoying the beautiful view as Bandung transformed from day to night, accompanied by a delicious cocktail (or two).
Boasting indoor and al fresco dining, the relaxing atmosphere makes the 18th the perfect venue to unwind after a busy day at work, for family dinners or romantic escapes. The menu features Western and Japanese cuisine, and my personal favourite is the pan-seared sea bass infused with miso. The fish was deliciously tender and flavourful. One of the most popular items on the menu is the wagyu beef, grilled to perfection. Known for its rich flavour and tenderness, wagyu is famous around the world and will have you coming back to the 18th for more. Other signature dishes include pan-fried foie gras and apple compote served on toasted brioche. Not to be missed is the Sky Walk, where the glass floor lets you gaze all the way down from the 18th floor. It is often booked for romantic dinners, a sure way to impress your lover. The 18th Restaurant and Lounge is open from 4pm to midnight Sunday to Thursday, and from 4pm to 2am on Fridays and Saturdays. The 18th Restaurant and Lounge The Trans Luxury Hotel Jl. Gatot Subroto 289, Bandung West Java â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Indonesia Phone. +62 22 8734 8888 www.thetranshotel.com
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Seminyak Kitchen Rules Enjoy casual all-day dining at Seminyak Kitchen. Text by Melani Semuel | Photos courtesy of Courtyard by Marriott®
hat do I like most about Seminyak Kitchen? Definitely the food, which keeps us coming back again and again for more delicious goodness. Seminyak Kitchen, at Courtyard by Marriott Bali, sets a new standard for the breakfast experience with its all-day breakfast menu featuring everything from homemade granola to buttermilk pancakes. Start with some of the classic breakfast dishes such as Eggs Benedict and Smoked Salmon Bagel. Breakfast may be big here, but Seminyak Kitchen offers a range of delicacies to tantalise your taste buds. My personal favourite is the Signature Bloody Mary Burger – a ground beef patty with Worcestershire and Tabasco sauce, encrusted with cracked pepper and topped with cheddar cheese, bacon and tomato tapenade; this burger
is full of flavour. Another favourite is the Coconut Chicken Curry – traditional Balinese curry served in fresh coconut with steamed rice and chilli jam; it’s simply delicious. I noticed while dining here that Seminyak Kitchen really pays attention to food presentation. Each dish is appealing to the eyes; almost as appealing as it is to the taste buds. Whichever dish you choose from the menu, you can be sure it will be delicious. Executive Chef Billy Costoglou and his talented team prepare a variety of mouthwatering dishes right before your eyes in the live open kitchen. Seminyak Kitchen Courtyard by Marriott® Jl. Camplung Tanduk No. 103 SP, Dhyana Pura, Seminyak Bali – Indonesia Phone. +62 361 849 9600
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Rustic Simplicity Relax over enticing tapas, drinks and live jazz at Velada Tapas Bar & Kitchen Text by Melani Semuel | Photo courtesy of The Westin Resort Nusa Dua, Bali
nwind with good food and good music at Velada Tapas Bar & Kitchen, located at The Westin Resort Nusa Dua, Bali. Savour vibrant jazz, authentic bites and refreshing drinks. Velada – meaning soirée – is a reason to unwind over authentic Spanish bites and refreshing cocktails in a vibrant setting. Upon entering you notice the cosy atmosphere, the live jazz music adding to the warm ambience, making it the ideal venue for catching up with friends or cosying up with a loved one. The bartenders are on hand to serve up signature margaritas and refreshing fruit-infused sangrias
to get the party started. And choose from a great selection of hot and cold Spanish tapas available from an open-style kitchen. Velada Tapas Bar & Kitchen is a place to mingle with like-minded people and really make a night of it whilst listening to cool music. Velada Tapas Bar & Kitchen The Westin Resort Nusa Dua, Bali Kawasan Pariwisata Nusa Dua, BTDC Lot N-3 Bali – Indonesia Phone. +62 361 771 906
Tempting Taste From the exotic flavours of Asia to the healthy fare of the Mediterranean, take a culinary journey at Seasonal Tastes at The Westin Resort Nusa Dua, Bali. Text by Melani Semuel | Photo courtesy of The Westin Resort Nusa Dua, Bali
or Westin fans the name Seasonal Tastes must be familiar. And Seasonal Tastes is now open at The Westin Resort Nusa Dua, Bali. Chef Mauro Bellodi and his attentive team of culinary experts are on hand to cook to order delicious Asian, Western, Indian and Mediterranean dishes. With a distinct focus on quality and flavour, the menu is driven by the availability of fresh ingredients. Specialty dishes from around the world that incorporate SuperFoodsRx can also be enjoyed from a carefully labelled selection during breakfast, and there’s an abundance of salads and gluten-free items, making Seasonal Tastes the perfect place for those who love healthy living. Seasonal Tastes has creative seating options for up to 225 guests in a thoughtfully planned environment overlooking a lagoon edged by tropical greenery. There is a designated area for
business groups to dine together and an eating zone just for kids so parents can enjoy a quiet meal while their children have fun with their meals. With its contemporary look and flexible approach to serving seriously good food, Seasonal Tastes is a signature of the Westin brand. The restaurant promises to satisfy appetites with an open-kitchen concept that incorporates live cooking stations and a juice bar to support an interactive food display. Seasonal Tastes The Westin Resort Nusa Dua, Bali Kawasan Pariwisata Nusa Dua, BTDC Lot N-3 Bali – Indonesia Phone. +62 361 771 906
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On Top of the Game The newly appointed General Manager of Keraton at The Plaza, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Jakarta, Mr. Stephan Sieberg, sat down with Dennis Latif to talk about some of his experiences in hospitality and his view of the industry, what success means to him and what Keraton at The Plaza, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Jakarta offers discerning travellers. Photo courtesy of Keraton at The Plaza, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Jakarta
Can you introduce yourself and tell us a little about your background?
First of all, I am from Germany. I was born in a city hundreds of kilometres north of Frankfurt. I have worked in Starwood Hotels & Resorts for 26 years in several different brands, such as Luxury collections, Sheraton and Westin, in different countries including Poland, Bulgaria and Albania. This is my second posting in the Asia-Pacific region. Before this I was posted at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, so I found it relatively easy to move to this city because I already had the “Asian mentality” from Kuala Lumpur, even though the city is completely different from Jakarta. I have had several experiences in managing hotel properties, from pre-opening, maintenance and even through the turn-in process of a property. I find it very exciting to be able to manage a variety of hotels, from small to big, in different locations and different cultures. So you have been with Starwood Hotels & Resorts for many years. What made you fall in love with this brand?
I have been with Starwood since a very long time ago, when I joined the company even before Starwood had been born; it was still an IT system and then it emerged as Starwood. In Starwood, we have 10 different brands, from The Luxury Collections, St. Regis, W Hotels, Westin, Le Meridien, Element, Sheraton, Four Points, The Aloft to Tribute Portfolio. For those of us who work in the hospitality industry, we have watched how the industry has changed over the years. To stay with a company you are looking for opportunities, and of course the more brands you have and the more global presence you have, it is easier to develop yourself, to develop positions and to move up the ladder, so that is what has kept me in Starwood. In my opinion, Starwood has always been a creative and innovative hotel company as a global player; there is always something new. I have been with the company for decades and it never gets boring. And on the other side, for me, Starwood has been a very good employer and is very much focused on people. Starwood has done a terrific job in taking care of external customers (guests) and internal customers (employees), and this is what the hospitality industry is all about; it is about people. As General Manager at Keraton at The Plaza, can you tell us about your duties and responsibilities?
We always have to keep in mind the set-up of a hotel. Standard hotel operation is not only the people checking in and checking out, cooking and serving. I always define a hotel as kind of a house, because we have an engineering department, housekeeping department, stewarding department, accounting department, marketing department, etc. This is called our “internal customers” – the employees. And then there are “external customers,” which are the guests. So my duty as General Manager is to bring all these “internal customers” together so at the end of the day, for the guests, there is one product where they can feel WOW and they have
a memorable stay. So that is, more or less, the role of General Manager. It has changed over the past, for sure, the world is becoming very competitive. There are a lot of new brands coming into the market globally over the last 15 years, so we have to make sure that we are different. Could you please explain the Keraton brand? What it stands for?
Keraton at The Plaza belongs to The Luxury Collection brand of Starwood Hotels & Resorts. The Luxury Collection brand is a collection of very unique hotels that would not fit in the mainstream hotel range. You can have any other Sheraton or Westin in other cities or countries, for example, but for us, we are very different from the others. In terms of the building and overall design, “keraton” in the Indonesian language means palace, so we want to have a kind of palace feel, yet with a modern design and approach. So there is a passion and vision behind this hotel. And in The Luxury Collection, what makes us different from other brands is not only physical but also our services. So we always try to define services differently; we are trying to be the trendsetter not a follower. Here at Keraton at The Plaza, we personalise service at the utmost level. For example, we moved away from traditional departments like front office, which is where guests normally check in and check out; we have a butler service for this. So guests can only have one single contact during their stay, which is the butler, and they do not need to interact with the regular concierge or housekeeping department; for the rest of their stay, the personal butler will take care of everything. Because here at Keraton at The Plaza, we believe that guests love to interact personally with one familiar person, rather to have many functions and divisions to cater to their needs. This makes Keraton at The Plaza different from any other hotel in the area. We understand that the world is moving fast in the hospitality industry, and we always want to be on top of the game. One last question, what is the meaning of success for you?
Success for me is when the guest leaves smiling, without any comments or anything; you just see a smiling guest departing. This is when we know that we have done our job right. Even though it sounds simple, it is not as simple as that. In hospitality, we deal with human beings, and thus we have to deal with different backgrounds, cultures and mentalities. For example, the Chinese mentality is different from the Japanese mentality, the American mentality is different from the European mentality, so we have to train our people in a way that they are sensitive towards different mentalities, cultures and religions, because what we believe is right for one person might not be right for other people. We have to balance this and serve the guest in the right way, so in the end of the day, the guest will have a WOW and memorable experience at this hotel.
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Manage by Heart Mr. Darrel Cartwright, the new General Manager of The Park Lane Jakarta, opens up about his time in the hospitality industry, how to motivate a team, what sets The Park Lane Jakarta apart, and what home means to him. Text by Dennis Latif | Photos by Ahmad Fatoni
profile Can you give our readers a little introduction to yourself? How did you get started in hospitality and what makes you love the hospitality industry?
I grew up in San Jose [California] and I worked as a waiter when I was in college. That was when I realized that I love to interact with people, I am a people person, and I thought that it would be interesting to develop a career in the hotel business. In this business, people come first and it did not take long for me to realize that the most important thing in the hospitality industry is not the product that you serve but more the experience that you deliver. If you create experiences that make guests want to come back again, you will create loyalty, and if you create loyalty there will be word of mouth; all of these things, if combined, will generate revenue for sure. And that is why I love this industry, because I get the chance to work with people and create experiences. What does The Park Lane Jakarta offer guests that sets it apart from other properties?
There are so many hotels in Jakarta, and every hotel mostly offers the same thing for guests, TV in the room, clean towels, clean bathroom, amenities, etc. In terms of service, most hotels talk the same talk. Yes, we can deliver all these things to our customers, but most hotels forget that it is about creating experiences as well. It is also about creating an environment that makes people feel like people and makes them feel like they are in their own home. In addition, now we have the millennial generation, which grew up with technology, the internet and social media. This generation is looking for something that is fast, friendly, fun and different. They want to have their senses stimulated. That is why for them, the experience is even more important. Here at The Park Lane Jakarta, what we try to do is to generate those experiences. We ask ourselves what we are and who we want to be, and these thoughts led us to the vision: We want to be the first business lifestyle resort hotel in Jakarta. What does that mean, business lifestyle resort hotel?
Sometimes on the weekend, people want to take a break, but they do not have time to travel to places such as Bali, Lombok or even just Bandung. So we came up with the staycation concept. Here at The Park Lane Jakarta, we create a resort-style environment, so people do not have
to fly to Bali to get the ambience, the atmosphere and the hype of tropical paradise. Guests can chill and relax by the pool, the children can have a great time in the Kids club, guests can have a romantic dinner with cocktails or champagne, go shopping at the nearby mall, and we also have a fun, relaxed and more casual staff; we even changed the staff uniforms to be more resort-like. We are trying to be less conservative than most business hotels. Working in the fast-paced, dynamic hospitality industry requires constant energy and enthusiasm. How do you motivate yourself to give your best every day at work?
For me, when I wake up every day, I am motivated by the challenge of more. What that means is that every day is a new day, and every day we need to generate more revenue, more opportunities and more experiences for the guests and staff. We try to keep a rewarding environment, and in here we do not “boss” people but we “lead” them. It is important to be a good leader; the difference between a boss and a leader is a boss would say, “Hey you, go climb a mountain right now and I want it to be done by 5pm,” but a leader would climb that mountain first, lower down the rope and pull the staff up. In here, we manage by heart, we treat everybody as an individual because we believe that everybody has hidden talents and capacities, and we want everyone to tap into that. So it’s like a beehive mentality where everybody is working together in unison for the same goal. You have worked in several interesting countries such as Japan, Vietnam and Kenya, all with different cultures, lifestyles and climates. What is the secret to feeling at home in new places and what does home mean to you?
If you strip away culture and language, the essence of every human being is the same. Because in the beginning we are born the same, but then the exposure from father, mother and culture changes us. So if you treat people like people, you show them love and respect, no matter what culture it is, you won’t feel like a stranger. In this business, we hoteliers are like professional gypsies because we move from place to place. Especially as a General Manager, you will see a lot of GMs move from one place to another, it is part of our work. So for me, home is where I put my head and home is where I am now.
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Always Do the Best Christian Kronast, General Manager of Crowne Plaza Bandung, recently spent time with Melani Semuel to talk about his life in the hospitality industry. One piece of advice from Christian â&#x20AC;&#x201C; always do your best, because what you plant now, you will harvest later. Photo by Samuel Bimastani
What do you find most attractive about working in the hospitality industry?
I have a lot of friends and relatives ask what drives me to chase a career in the hospitality industry. The reason I love the hospitality Industry so much is simple; because it’s both fun and enjoyable. In the hospitality Industry, you have the opportunity to meet and socialize with people representing a wide range of backgrounds, professions, nationalities, in an even wider range of places all around the globe. What do you think is a particular and unique characteristic of the industry that keeps you motivated and challenged, especially now that the market is so competitive?
The hotel and hospitality industry is a dynamic industry that quickly changes with the times. All the industry stakeholders and businesspeople have to be sharp, creative, dynamic and well prepared to keep pace with the changing environment. That’s a particular and unique characteristic of the industry that keeps me motivated and challenged every day. What surprising things have you learnt about yourself over the years working in the hospitality industry?
I enjoyed dealing and working with many people from day one and I still do. It is one of my favorite things about the job, every day is different. In the hospitality industry, we have to be flexible when it comes to the guests needs. For example, during my tenure in the Middle East, I experienced handling sheikhs and celebrities with various requests during their stays. Since we wanted to make them satisfied and exceed their expectations, we always tried to do our best to fulfill their requests. Two InterContinental Hotels Group properties recently opened in Bandung. From all the cities in Indonesia, why Bandung?
With the opening of the first Crowne Plaza in Bandung, we now have Crowne Plaza hotels in three key cities in Indonesia, including Jakarta and Semarang. Bandung is an increasingly metropolitan city and we see our new hotel as perfectly positioned to cater to the influx of both business and leisure travellers. Our guests want to be productive and get the most out of their trip, so as we are in the heart of the city and near major transport links, Crowne Plaza Bandung is the perfect choice when visiting. Crowne Plaza Bandung is the third Crowne Plaza in Indonesia, joining Crowne Plaza Jakarta and Crowne Plaza Semarang. IHG has 16 hotels across four brands in Indonesia – InterContinental, Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express.
What makes Crowne Plaza Bandung different from all the other hotels in Bandung?
The moment you arrive at the hotel, you’ll know that Crowne Plaza Bandung is unlike any hotel you’ve ever been to in Bandung. Crowne Plaza Bandung is refreshingly different from other upscale Bandung hotels. The friendly staff here will greet you warmly, ask you how everything went and go out of their way to accommodate special requests. The friendly and familiar atmosphere has built true Bandung hospitality. As a Crowne Plaza, you know what to expect when it comes to service and facilities. What do you personally like most about the hotel?
Our business guests will enjoy our Executive Club Lounge, Business Centre and our range of versatile Meeting Spaces within the hotel, while for our leisure guests they can enjoy a dedicated floor of a recreational facilities, such as 25-metre infinity outdoor swimming pool, fitness centre with a full range of the latest equipment, complete Kids Club facilities and Spa with four beautiful treatment rooms. We are looking forward to welcoming guests to Crowne Plaza Bandung and ensuring they have an exceptional stay with us whether for business or leisure. What do you think of the hospitality industry in Bandung now and how do you see it developing over the next five years?
The hospitality and tourism industry in Bandung is an important component of the city economy. The city has much to offer, from natural beauty, commercial and businesses centres, and MICE to heritage and cultural diversity. All of those benefits will keep attracting visitors to Bandung again and again. In the next five years the hospitality and tourism sector in Bandung will be ranked as the third-largest amongst goods and services sectors. Who or what has been your most important teacher?
My grandfather. He mentioned to me, “Rather attempt to do something great and fail than to attempt to do nothing and succeed.” And when I asked him if I should go out and see the world, he said, “If you never leave then you will never find out how it looks like outside.” After a few years, he then actually said, as funny as it sounds, “Enough flying around, now come back.” Unfortunately he’s not amongst us anymore. What is your philosophy towards work?
Positive thinking will let you do everything better than negative thinking will. Edition 1, 2016
The Power of Growth The simple dream of I Nyoman Sarya was to be an economist or an English lecturer. But he enrolled in the new tourism school on his home island, Bali. Now he is the General Manager of The Sultan Hotel & Residence Jakarta and the Vice President of Operations at Singgasana Hotels & Resorts. That means he is managing seven properties – the Jakarta Convention Centre, Ayodya Resorts Bali, Singgasana Hotel Surabaya, Singgasana Hotel Makassar, House Sangkuriang Bandung, Lombok Golf Kosaido and, of course, The Sultan Hotel & Residence Jakarta. “Never stop learning and never be satisfied because the world is so dynamic,” says I Nyoman Sarya. Text by Ester Pandiangan | Photo courtesy of The Sultan Hotel & Residence Jakarta
This is your 10th year with Singgasana Hotels & Resorts. What makes the group special?
If you had a choice, which city would you prefer to live in?
The family culture and the owner’s trust in me. I always feel challenged and we are ready to compete with other hotels.
I still choose Jakarta, but in the future, Bali will be on the list.
What makes The Sultan Hotel & Residence Jakarta different than other hotels in Jakarta?
Maybe I’ll be a consultant for restaurants, spas, something close to the hospitality industry.
We have 39 years of experience in hospitality, we are a mature property who have handled top events and VVIP guests, and our strategic location is the best in Jakarta. What is the difference between the hospitality industry in Jakarta and in other cities?
Jakarta as the capital of the country is a dynamic city. When the government issued a regulation to put restrictions on business meetings, it was a difficult time for hotels in Jakarta. But it was not as bad as in cities like Makassar and Surabaya. There was little impact in Bali because Bali is a resort island and people go there for leisure. So, what is the best thing about Jakarta, based on your experience?
I think Jakarta as metropolitan city has everything and provides big opportunity. From business, culinary, education, entertainment and many more. With the heavy traffic, you have to deal with it. I respect Jakartans for their effort to get to work, by leaving home earlier.
What is your retirement plan?
What do you like so much about the hospitality industry?
This is my passion, not only my career, and through it I have been able to meet many fabulous people. I have friends and colleagues in many places, not just from the same hotel group but also from other hotels. Because of this, I don’t think of what I do as work. When you love what you do, you are doing your hobby and everything is easier. When I say easier that doesn’t mean everything will be fine, but you can handle it because you put your heart into it. Do you have any advice for people interested in the hospitality industry?
As hospitality is a growth industry, you have to be prepared and continue to improve your skills and knowledge. English is a must as you also deal with international travellers. I remember my general managers asking me to do things that I didn’t think were part of my job. But I realized that my general managers wanted me to learn new things. Keep learning, build your network, use social media and keep updated with information technology.
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New Heights of Luxury Living in the hustle and bustle of a major metropolis, every once in while we all need to take a break and get away from it all. Melani Semuel enjoys a relaxing getaway at InterContinental Bandung Dago Pakar, the new height of luxury in Bandung. Photos courtesy of InterContinental Bandung Dago Pakar
t has been a very busy time for us and we really needed to escape and take a break, so we headed to Bandung for a quick getaway and a little R&R. As we were both exhausted, we wanted nothing but the best on this trip, so we booked ourselves at one of the newest fivestar hotels in town, InterContinental Bandung Dago Pakar. Behind its elegance and luxury facade hides a delightful and romantic ambience, stunning natural views and lush green spaces. InterContinental Bandung Dago Pakar is a spacious haven for relaxation and rejuvenation. Located in the Dago Pakar Resort complex north of Bandung, surrounded by the Mountain View Golf Course, InterContinental Bandung Dago Pakar lets you experience the utmost privacy. This is an ideal location for exclusive events or just to rejuvenate your soul after a hectic week.
The hotel features 225 spacious and elegantly designed guest rooms that include Classic Room, Premium Room, Premium Room with Golf View, Club InterContinental Room, Panorama Room, Keraton Suite, and Presidential Suite, as well as 19 Private Garden Kembang Villas with exclusive access to the Mountain View Golf Course. Club Rooms and Suites are individually tailored to meet the needs of discerning guests. The subtle use of Indonesian woods and fabrics, combined with skilful craftsmanship, creates a luxuriously minimalist look. InterContinental Bandung Dago Pakar promises guests consistently high standards of service and all the world-class facilities expected of a 5-star hotel. The people at InterContinental Bandung Dago Pakar place a great deal of value on you and
your visit and go out their way to ensure that your stay is more than just comfortable. In the afternoon, we enjoyed a scrumptious lunch at the hotel’s Damai restaurant, Bandung’s newest and best located dining venue, a place to see and be seen. Damai offers a luxury dining experience with a mix of local and internationally inspired dishes to suit the tastes of residents and visitors alike. A combination of buffet and specialty à la carte menus will enrich the experience of all who visit and enjoy the ambience of the restaurant as well as my favourite spot, the scenic outdoor terrace. The food here is simply delicious. We know Bandung is a culinary destination but we had such a great time exploring the menu at Damai that we didn’t even bother to leave the hotel for food. There is a wide range of dishes to choose from and I can assure you they are all delicious. My absolute favourite is the Wasabi Prawns; it is so delicious that I kept ordering it every time we ate at Damai. Meat lovers have to try the Hot Spicy Short Ribs, which are tender and full of flavour. For those with a big appetite, the Three Cheese Burger is not to be missed. There is also a long list of beverages to complement your meal. Rengganis (Red Ginger Asam Manis) is perfect
for the cold Bandung weather. For something refreshing, try the Sun Riser. And if you like both tea and coffee, why not order the Green Tea Coffee? We loved the ambience at the restaurant. During the day you can enjoy views of Bandung, which only get better at night, when you can see all the twinkling lights of the city. It was finally time to say goodbye, but we were taking all the wonderful memories with us. A stay at InterContinental Bandung Dago Pakar reawakens the senses with its luxuriously dramatic style, unbeatable comforts and impeccable service. The hotel always offers new services and facilities to make every stay as enjoyable as possible for guests. InterContinental Bandung Dago Pakar is raising its profile as a leading destination for business or pleasure, where every stay is memorable for the pleasant service and unbeatable comforts of a true oasis in Bandung. InterContinental Bandung Dago Pakar Jl. Resor Dago Pakar Raya, Bandung West Java – Indonesia Phone. +62 22 8780 6688 www.intercontinental.com/bandung
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In the Heart of Ubud Ubud has long been known as the centre of culture and art in Bali. It is home to countless dance studios, art galleries, museums and temples. There is also the natural beauty, with the lush valleys and hills, and the dazzling Ayung River. Text by Dennis Latif | Photos courtesy of SenS Hotel & Spa + Conference Ubud
ith countless remarkable and wonderful natural elements, Ubud has effortlessly become one of the most popular destinations on the island for foreign and domestic tourists. Little wonder, then, that hospitality service providers are expanding into the area. On 14 February 2015, SenS Hotel & Spa + Conference Ubud Town Centre officially opened with an area of 2,100 square metres to meet the needs of travellers in search of safe, comfortable and affordable accommodation in the heart of Ubud.
Dine & Leisure
Upon entering SenS Hotel & Spa, guests are served an iced Rosella welcome tea, made with ingredients sourced from local farmers in Ubud. This delicious tea and other local teas and nuts can also be purchased by hotel guests, part of the hotel management’s support for the surrounding community. I stayed in a Superior room measuring 22 square metres. Rooms are minimalist with elements that maximise comfort such as a choice of pillows, from soft to firm (goose feather pillows and orthopaedic pillows are also available upon request, free of charge), numerous sockets, work desk with chair, one-person sofa, ironing board, hairdryer, safe deposit box and TV. The bathroom and bedroom are separated by translucent glass for a spacious feeling, but worry not as you can always close the blinds.
Yonne Café & Bar is the all-day dining venue offering a selection of local and international dishes. Breakfast is also served here along with à la carte menu and an interesting dinner buffet, including the mouth-watering barbeque night.
Facilities As the name implies, SenS Hotel & Spa Ubud Town + Conference Centre offers remarkable facilities for meetings, events and fabulous wedding parties in Ubud. Peliatan Ballroom can accommodate up to 300 people and can be divided into two rooms. Sukma Boardroom can accommodate an exclusive meeting of up to 14 people. The team of professionals at SenS Hotel & Spa is ready to help you achieve your dream wedding, from choosing the menu, decorations to small details such as wine and cocktails selections. For those who want to keep fit during the holiday or business trip, work up a sweat at the gym or jump into the refreshing pool. Or just simply enjoy a relaxing head-to-toe spa treatment at Sens Spa, which is always a good idea.
If you are keen to stroll around the area, there are plenty of dining options as well, like the famous Nasi Ayam Kedewatan Ibu Mangku, where guests can enjoy the deliciously authentic Balinese mixed rice (nasi campur Bali) with local spices and flavours. If you are looking for an eatery that is a little more under the radar, Warung Ibu Rus is an attractive option. Starting from a small shop, Ibu Rus now has a fairly spacious spot that is well known among locals. The chicken curry and fish curry are worth a try. If you are brave enough, try the drink Arak Bali mixed with lemon, served cold. Bali Pulina Coffee Plantation is a great place to enjoy a Balinese coffee. You can see the process of making civet coffee (kopi Luwak), and also enjoy the beautiful view of the mountain slopes, especially during sunset time. SenS Hotel & Spa + Conference Ubud Town Centre is close to several attractions and activities such as Puri Peliatan, where you can see Balinese dance performances beautifully presented by Sanggar Tari Balerung, rafting or cycling at Tjampuhan, magnificent sculptures and art pieces at I Made ADA Gallery, and House of Mask and Puppets Setiadharma, home to nearly 7,000 masks and puppets. SenS Hotel & Spa Ubud Town + Conference Centre Jl. Sukma Banjar Tebesaya Peliatan Gianyar - Bali Indonesia Phone. +62 361 849 3328 www.senshotelsresorts.com
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3 Reasons You Should Stay at
The ONE Legian
Looking for a place to stay in Bali, look no further than The ONE Legian. We give you three reasons you should stay at The ONE Legian. Text by Melani Semuel | Photo courtesy of The One Legian
1. Location, Location, Location Whether you are in Bali for business or pleasure, staying in the Legian area is very convenient as everything is just steps away. The ONE Legian is ideally located in the middle of everything for those who enjoy the active lifestyle of Kuta– Legian, with easy access to all the major business and tourist districts. The ONE Legian is located in the heart of Legian, which is a 15-minute stroll from popular Kuta Beach. Staying at The ONE Legian gives you easy access to some of the best fashion and souvenir shopping in Bali, with Kuta’s famous street shopping less than 10 minutes away. Also nearby are the famous clubs that make Kuta-Legian such a nightlife destination.
2. Balinese Hospitality “Morning spirit,” that is how you will be greeted, with a smile, from the moment you step inside The ONE Legian until the moment you leave. One of the highlights of the hotel is the hospitality from each and every staff member, making every guest feel welcome and at home. I learned that the hotel teaches their staff the importance of
service from the heart, to treat others as you want to be treated. This true Balinese hospitality sets The ONE Legian apart from other hotels.
3. Food Fit for a King Some of the best hotel food I have ever tasted is here at The ONE Legian. No matter where I dined, whether at the al fresco De Basilico Kitchen and Bar, where you can enjoy a range of Western and Asian dishes, indulging in urban street food including satay, nasi jingo and BBQ at The Deck, or at any of the hotel’s other restaurants, I knew the food would be delicious. Executive chef Nyoman Picha is the master behind all this goodness. Leave all the weight watching behind and indulge in a wide array of culinary goodness while staying at The ONE Legian. The ONE Legian Jl. Legian No. 117, Legian Bali – Indonesia Phone. +62 361 3001 101 www.theonelegian.com
Business Is Pleasure Pamper yourself at Resinda Hotel Karawang and savour the comfort of a luxury resort. Text by Clarisa Mutriafica | Photos courtesy of Resinda Hotel Karawang
was surprised when I heard that Padma Hotels had opened a 4-star hotel in Karawang, an industrial area in West Java. I imagined a stay in Karawang would be boring, with little to do or see. I realized how wrong I was the moment I stepped into the lobby. Located just two hours from Jakarta, this is the first business hotel in Karawang to offer a tranquil resort atmosphere. Resinda Hotel Karawang features 256 well-designed, spacious rooms and suites. You are sure to have a great experience even it is only for a weekend getaway. One of the highlights for me was the view, which made me think of Ubud. Ubud? Yes, because of the expansive emerald rice fields that one never sees in Jakarta. And the rooms? Perfect! Spacious and not too cluttered. Resinda Hotel Karawang offers an elegant Grand Ballroom with a luxurious crystal chandelier and can accommodate up to 1,200 guests for
business gatherings, social events and weddings. There is also a smaller Junior Ballroom and five meeting rooms. Prepare to be spoilt by the three outstanding restaurants here. Oryza is the all-day dining restaurant, Tenkai Japanese Restaurant offers a sushi bar and Hai Wang Chinese Restaurant delights with authentic Chinese food. Business travellers are well taken care of with a wide range of facilities including well-equipped fitness centre, Japanese bath and steam room. They also provide free wifi, a business centre, personalised 24-hour concierge service, valet parking and private transportation arrangements. Now you know where to go for a wonderful stay in Karawang. Resinda Hotel Karawang Jl. Resinda Raya No. 1, Karawang Barat West Java â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Indonesia Phone. +267 862 2000 www.resindahotel.com
Anyone Can Be a Hero The third Race and Care 2015 Superhero Run – Anyone Can Be a Hero was inspired by a superhero persona who always helps people in need, like race participants helping the East Java Care for Cancer Kids Foundation.
nitiated in 2013, Race and Care is an annual sporting event hosted by Shangri-La Hotel, Surabaya to give guests and all the hotel’s stakeholders the chance to compete in a race, get healthy and give back to the community, with all the proceeds going to charity. Thus the name, Race and Care. On Sunday, 4 October 2015, Shangri-La Hotel, Surabaya hosted the third Race and Care event with the theme Superhero Run – Anyone Can Be a Hero. The race invites all participants to create their own race on the 2.5-kilometre racetrack in the hotel’s vicinity for two hours. And to add an element of fun, runners donned their best superhero costumes for the run. The run started at 6am with a welcome from the General Manager of
Shangri-La Hotel, Surabaya, who confirmed that more than 700 tickets had been sold. “We are expecting more runners than before as we’ve sold almost 1,000 tickets. We’re so happy that more and more runners are joining because that means we can collect more donations for the kids,” said Martin Brenner, the General Manager. Race and Care this year chose Yayasan Kasih Anak Kanker Jawa Timur (East Java Care for Cancer Kids Foundation) as its charity, which provides shelter for children with cancer while waiting for their treatment at Dr. Soetomo Hospital. “We managed to donate more than Rp 50 million to help the foundation in providing shelter for the kids while they’re undergoing chemotherapy,” Brenner said.
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Photographer: Clarisa Mutriafica (@clarisacaca) Location: Le Meridien Bali Jimbaran
Photographer: Ahmad Fatoni (@fa_toni) Location: Ranukumbolo, Semeru
Photographer: Priscilla Picauly (@liapicauly) Location: SEA Aquarium, Singapore
Photographer: Alamsyah Jo (@alamjo) Location: Dusun Bambu, Bandung
Photographer: Priscilla Picauly (@liapicauly) Location: Kepa Island, Alor
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Photographer: Marlina Agustin (@marlinatewu) Location: Mount Prau, Dieng
Photographer: Marlieke Janssen (@marliekejanssen) Location: Lake Wakatipu, New Zealand
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Big Eyes Director Cast
: Tim Burton : Amy Adams, Christoph Waltz, Danny Huston
Directed and produced by Tim Burton, "Big Eyes" is based on the true story of husband and wife Walter and Margareth Keane. But the center of this movie is Margareth, a struggling painter and single mother who met Walter in the park. Set in the 1950, to the '60s, Margareth is trying to stand up as a painter with iconic drawings of children with big eyes. With “support” from her husband, she reaches phenomenal success through controversy. Amy Adams does a good job as Margareth Keane and got a Golden Globe Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role Comedy or Musical for this movie. (PP)
Mr. Turner Director Cast
: Mike Leigh : Timothy Spall, Paul Jesson, Dorothy Atkinson
Another biographical movie about a painter is "Mr. Turner." Eccentric 18th century painter, J. M. W. Turner has interesting way to reflect his sense of art. He travelled often in search of inspiration. One day he strapped himself to the mast of a ship to paint a snowstorm through his own experience. His life surrounded by his father, who’s lately died, loved by a housekeeper that sometimes he takes for granted to exploits sexually. He also has a relationship with a seaside landlady with whom he eventually lives incognito in Chelsea. This movie has a slow story with lots of tedious monologue. But two thumbs up to the potrayal of Mr. Turner, played perfectly by Timothy Spall. In preparation for his role, Timothy spent two years learning how to paint. Impressive. (PP)
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The Book Thief Author: Markus Zusak 552 pages Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak, is set in Nazi Germany, at the start of World War II. It tells the story of Liesel, a little girl who is taken to a new home because her mother can't afford to take care of her. On the journey to their new home, Liesel's younger brother dies and she steals her first book, The Grave Digger's Handbook. When she arrives at her new home, Liesel suddenly has a new Mama and Papa. Haunted every night by nightmares of her brother's death, Liesel and her Papa set themselves the challenge of reading the book, Liesel’s last link to her brother. The story is told by Death, who becomes a character readers come to respect and even feel sorry for by the end. The narration puts an odd perspective on the story, and much of what Death says is philosophical, even beautiful. (EP)
Looking for Alaska Author: John Green 223 pages Published: HarperCollins Children’s Books Author John Green shot to wider fame when the movie adaptation of his book The Fault in Our Stars was released in cinemas. That book was a love story featuring two cancer-stricken teens. Looking for Alaska, meanwhile, centres on Miles “Pudge” Halter, whose entire existence has been one big non-event. Pudge is obsessed with famous last words, which has made him crave the "Great Perhaps" (François Rabelais, poet). He heads off to the sometimes crazy, possibly unstable, and anything-but-boring world of Culver Creek Boarding School, and his life becomes the opposite of safe. Because down the hall is Alaska Young. The gorgeous, clever, funny, sexy, self-destructive, screwed-up, and utterly fascinating Alaska Young is an event unto herself. She pulls Pudge into her world, launches him into the Great Perhaps, and steals his heart. (EP)
Books are available at Periplus bookstores